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Playing it Safe and Writing: Guest Post by Kelsey Jordan

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Take it away, Kelsey!!

In a recent conversation with a fellow author, we were discussing an author who changed the direction of a series we both liked. It went from dark and sensual to sex with a meandering plot.

The writer was questioned about this change at a convention by one of her readers and her response was something along the lines of [paraphrasing]: The series took her to a dark place to write it the way it started. So she stopped and went another direction, which for us, the lovers of the original stuff sucked and not in a good way.

I had to pause at the reasoning. Seriously?!

Books should take you, the writer, on a journey so that you may in turn take your reader on one. If you are too much of a chicken to take a flashlight and shine it into all the dark corners of your psyche then you shouldn’t have picked up the book to write it in the first place.

I know, I know. As an author, how can I say that? Writing a good story means you have to bleed the best and worst parts of you and society onto the page. If you aren’t willing to do that, if you aren’t brave enough to do that, why bother?

By altering the character’s story the way she did, she changed a formerly kickass female lead to a whiny, oversexed man toy with an overblown sense of control. The author managed to take her founding character and make her the weakest representation of what a woman can be. Additionally, she managed to write all of the magic out of her world by over simplifying of her character.

Now her series is like watered down Coke. It’s still Coke, but it’s hard to choke down and it tastes like crap.

I say all of this because I am on the verge or writing a story that will take me to an emotionally dark place. I have to go there if I intend to do my character justice.

If I am unwilling to shine that beacon into the darkness, I may as well never write the book. A book done in fear of exploration is not the journey it can be. It is an abomination to the writer spirit.

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7 Comments on “Playing it Safe and Writing: Guest Post by Kelsey Jordan”

  1. cpbialois June 5, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    I can understand her wanting to take it in a different direction, but to change the entire landscape? I don’t like that or get it. If we can’t stay true to the story, how can we expect our readers to have faith in us or our stories? If it’s hard, then come up and take a breath. There’s no shame in needing a break but do the story justice.

    • drshaywest June 5, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

      I agree. The last we want to do is alienate the readers. If the landscape needs to change THAT much perhaps it needs to be a whole new story;)

      • cpbialois June 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm #


      • kelseyjordangw June 5, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

        And that is exactly what this author did. She alienated her core group of fans and to date has made it clear she has no intention of returning to the “glory days. Makes me sad.

  2. Diane June 5, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    Honestly I read paranormal for the darkness, if I wanted light and fluffy I would read contemporary YA.

    • drshaywest June 5, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

      That’s what I always kind of thought about the genre.

  3. blazemcrob June 5, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

    Interesting. Since I never outline, my stories oftentimes take on lives of their own. But not to the point they digress in the manner of this author. Don’t confuse your fans. It’s alright to add new genres and sub genres to your plate, but don’t leave your original readers wanting more you’re not going to give them. It takes too long to develop a brand only to start all over again, and you’re not being fair to the readers who got you to where you are.

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