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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Guest Post with Shelley Workinger, Author of Solid

Today I'd like to welcome Shelley Workinger, author of the YA paranormal series, Solid. Shelley stopped by today to discuss her favorite type of scenes to write. Take it away Shelley!

Shelley Workinger grew up in Maine, graduated from Loyola University New Orleans, currently resides in New Jersey, and considers all of them home.Official Website

My favorite scenes to write are without doubt the conversations – particularly the ones involving Garrett, because he totally cracks me up.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking: Since she’s writing those scenes, doesn’t that mean she cracks herself up?

And the answer is, “Sure not.” Let me tell you why.

I write in what I know most people see as a very unique way; essentially, I let the characters write the story. I “launch” a scene in my head, then take notes as they run with it. It’s like planning a dream (which I also do); I imagine a setting, then close my eyes to watch as it develops on its own. Unfortunately, also like dreaming, this method works best late at night, so I’m often up until the wee hours scribbling notes in the dark!

The characters of “Solid” just exist so clearly in my imagination that for me to “direct” them would almost be unnatural. They may be fictional, but they are strong, distinct personalities who can really only react one way to the situations I’ve created for them in order to stay consistent and believable. So I may know where the story’s going and how to roll out the plot, but I have to let them talk amongst themselves to pick up their dialogue along the way.

In case I really am sounding as bizarre as I think I might be, let me give you an example:

When know-it-all Miranda asks Garrett if he washed the banana he’s about to eat, he asks (in typical Garrett-fashion) “To get off what? Monkey pee?” and she immediately throws back, “Insecticides, fungicides, nematicides….” I didn’t even know all those words before the scene evolved, but Miranda had to.  Then Clio, who’s quick-witted and sarcastic but lets too many things fly out of her mouth without a filter thinks, “If [Miranda] didn’t lay off the ‘cides,’ she was going to end up a victim of friend-icide. And that was the best-case scenario.” Again, it was the response she had to have; I heard her voice in my head way before I had time to sit down and think, “Hmm, how would Clio react to that?”

So that’s the part of writing that’s funnest* for me; the moments when, if only for a second, I get to feel almost like a reader – like any other member of the audience enjoying the scene and not already thinking two chapters ahead. Every book is an adventure to experience, so why should I have to miss out on my own?

Writers are still readers at heart, after all. 

*Yes, I know “funnest” is not an officially recognized word, but I think it should be and so will continue to use it.

Solid (Solid #1)

(July 9, 2010)

Eighteen years ago, a rogue Army doctor secretly experimented with a chromosomal drug on unknowing pregnant women. When he was killed not long after the children were born, any knowledge and evidence seemed to die with him - except for the living, breathing, human products of his work.

Almost two decades later, the newly self-proclaimed "open-book" military unearths the truth about the experiment, bringing Clio Kaid and the other affected teens to a state-of-the-art, isolated campus where they soon discover that C9x did indeed alter their chromosomes, its mutations presenting as super-human abilities. The military kids, who come from across the nation and all walks of life, come into their own as lighter-than-air 'athletes'; 'indies' as solid as stone walls; teens who can make themselves invisible and others who can blind with their brilliance.

While exploring her own special ability, forging new friendships and embarking on first love, Clio also stumbles onto information indicating that the military may not have been entirely forthcoming with them and that all may not be as it seems...

1 comment:

Denise Z said...

I think funnest is a fine word, after all history has shown the more often a funner word is used it can end up in the dictionary :) LOL Thank you for sharing today.