Saturday, August 24, 2013
Because I wanted to, that's why
I've been asked quite a few times why I write the things I do. I never really know how to answer that other than 'because I want to'. Sometimes the questions get really specific and I've been asked 'why did *insert character name* do that?' And I've gotten comments like '*character* should have done this instead, it was obviously the better choice'. Why didn't they?' The answer is simple: because that's what I wanted.
Sometimes I feel like readers are hoping for a secret, deep meaning behind my reasoning's but more often than not, I just wanted that to happen/not happen. I write my books how I want them to be written, how I see them in my head, and how I think they should play out. With all of my current series, I knew how they would end before I even started writing. I know I've mentioned before that I wrote the very last paragraph of Contagious before anything else.
Staying in-character can be a challenge, especially when I'm writing a character that is very unlike myself. Orissa from The Contagium Series is one of my favorite characters (if not my all time fav...) and she is pretty much my opposite in a lot of things. I had to make sure her choices, actions, and decisions were fitting to her own personality and not my own. She is a shoot-first-aim-later kind of person and makes her choices based on what is best for the current situation. She doesn't always think about how things will affect her later on; she very much lives in the present. Which, in turn, makes for some sticky situations. She does try to do what she thinks is best, but since she has a tendency to make rash and quick decisions, things tend to backfire and she ends up getting herself into trouble.
So why in the world would I write a character like that? I wanted to. Simple as that. I wanted a character that was very far from perfect. I wanted to write about someone who makes mistakes, doesn't think things through, and isn't loved by every single person in the book. (Huge pet-peeve of mine...I can't stand picture perfect MCs) Orissa is definitely rough around the edges and I really loved writing her.
Some other things I've been asked (multiple times...) can be answered with the 'it's what I wanted/imagined' reply, but some other commonly asked questions DO have a more interesting meaning behind them. I've compiled a list of some of the frequently asked 'why' questions.
-Why is Ethan so much older than Anora (in the Guardian Legacies Series)? I made them have a 5 year age difference because my husband is 5 years older than me. I honestly never thought about it being weird or causing anyone to even wonder. I've never had an issue with my hubby being older.
-Why are your main female characters all brunette? I like brown hair.
-Why do most of your main characters like horses/know how to ride? I like horses so I wanted them to as well.
-Why didn't Orissa use her grandpa's cattle for meat? I didn't want her to kill them. I personally would hate to skin, gut, clean, and prepare that much meat. Plus, cows are kinda cute.
-Why do you write about your real life pets? I wanted to. I love my animals and thought they'd make great characters.
-Why did you decide to make Hayden a Marine instead of a solider? I felt the Army was over used in zombie books/movies.
-Why did you make Anora's parents have such prestigious jobs? I wanted them to have jobs that required long hours and work outside of work. I wanted her to have 'good' parents that were just too busy with work to pay much attention to her. I know there are tons of other jobs I could have picked, but I just picked two that I liked.
There are deeper meanings in what I write, of course, but that's a whole other post in itself. If you want to know anything else about the books, ask! I love talking about them!