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Fiction as commentary

Many inspirations go into every book I write, but I do find that there's usually at least a little bit of reader (or viewer, depending on the story sources) response mixed in. Wanting to challenge the standard ways certain types of stories are told, or certain tropes play out. Or even just seeing a particular story element and thinking, Hey, why hasn't anyone done X with that yet?

I'm probably thinking about this right now because it's most obvious with LOKI'S BOY. Other than a general sense of wow these Norse gods would be fun to write about, most of the story came out of wanting to tackle issues raised in the myths that weren't settled to my satisfaction--about good and evil, about fate and inevitability.

But there's also a lot of it in GIVE UP THE GHOST. I'd read, and seen, too many stories where the main character hates his/her special power and just wants to be normal--especially if the special power is being able to see ghosts. So I wanted to write a story where the character likes and embraces her weirdness. I also wanted to write a story where a girl and a guy connected emotionally but didn't get romantic about it, because it felt like every time I read a book where a male and female character had any sort of connection, they automatically had to be falling for each other too.

POSSESSING LUCY came about in part because of watching Veronica Mars and Brick and wondering why there weren't more of those noir-ish crime/mystery stories for teens in book form. THE HALFWAY HERO doesn't have too much commentary, but the ending is definitely an attempt to subvert the frequently-seen "hero saves the day and wins all" fantasy finish.

Do you find yourself responding to other stories in your own? Is it something you enjoy or something you try to avoid? :)

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
erinbow
Nov. 17th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, enjoy.

Part of the motivation for PLAIN KATE is to tell an anti-ugly duckling story. A heroine who doesn't just think she's plain and misfit and marginalized -- but actually IS plain and misfit and marginalized.
robinellen
Nov. 17th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
I think everything I write in is response to someone else's story :) Without a doubt -- it's not so much something I enjoy, as something that I am, I suppose.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

My Books


Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014


The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015


A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015


The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012


The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013


The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014


Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014


Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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