Monday, September 5, 2011

Teaching Them Lessons

Teaching her a lesson.

Let me clear right up front, when I write Rachel Clancy, my YA heroine in my Warrior series, in a lot of ways she writes me and not the other way around. What do I mean by that? Rachel has a story to tell and a definite opinion on how it is to be told. Much more so than any other book series I write, the character of Rachel has determined her own destiny without much input from me. Frequently, she surprises me.

In my real life, I have three young children. The oldest is six years old. So I haven’t faced their teenage years yet. But, I imagine, that there will be lessons that they have to learn as teenagers—as I did—when they hit those years. I hope that I will be around to help guide them through that time.

For right now, I am facing the interesting dilemma of helping to guide Rachel through her formative years in the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic paranormal world where vampires are running around trying to eat her. Some of the lessons that Rachel has to learn to move forward are not necessary things that I would want my own children to have to experience.

For example, in Driven, the second book in the series, Rachel is faced with a dilemma of having to decide between two young men vying for her attention. Actually, this happens to her twice in the book in two very different ways. But I digress.

The reasons why one of these young guys is better than another would not necessarily hold true in the world we live in today. What they value are not necessarily what we value. Having said that, I still need them to be likable. I still need grownups who look at these books to be fine with their teenagers enjoying these characters. All of this means that, as an author, I walk a fine line, particularly because Rachel is such a dominant character that she is almost writing her own books.

But she has lessons to learn. And they’re my job to teach them to her. Even if she makes it difficult for me.




Anonymous said...

Great post, and I particularly like this line: "...she writes me and not the other way around." SO true; I MUST read this series!!!

Jessica Subject said...

It may be hard for you to teach her these lessons, but you do it so well. This truly is a fabulous series!

J.A. Campbell said...

Rusty, I read Initiation, the first one, recently and loved it.

Thanks for sharing Rebecca. I have characters that write themselves too. It's always entertaining. Can't wait to read Driven.


Carrie Ann Ryan said...

I can totally see Rachel doing that to you. She is very strong but has inner depth that still makes me like her. But seriously, to have all of that male attention must be divine - and curse.

I hope the third one is going well, whatever stage you may be in with it!

Kimber An said...

Of course, i'm the boss of my characters. (((kimber hides under a chair)))


Cassandra said...

Thanks for your post. Driven book 2 is out. Have to read Initiation very soon.

Seleste said...

One of the hardest things for me is to let my characters make bad decisions. I *know* what's best for them, but I also know that those choices aren't realistic in their situation (plus I know more of what's going on than they do LOL).

Honestly, to me one of the biggest lessons of YA fiction is that people make mistakes and growing up is all about how you deal with them.

Great post!