teenporpoise asked:

So, I am a fan of yours, and will always remember you as the lady who got me into feminism. From my enlightenment from reading TDL and your words, I took my school's feminist literature class and went onto giving a graded speech comparing identical characters Rachel and Richard, ending with the phrase 'Why does Dick come out on top?' But enough flattery. I have a random question; was Seb based on Hareton Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights? Even Cathy 2 resembles Jamie a little.

Aw, thank you! I always like to corrupt the youths with my wild ideas and I am certain your speech was excellent. ;)

At first my answer to the question was going to be a startled ‘no what? Totally not, I never thought of such a thing.’ Which meant I was like: I must not answer this! I have done it a few times in person and I always feel super bad about it.

READER: So you were doing this cool thing?

SARAH: Whaaa…? Cool… thing? Doesn’t seem like me…

READER: I imagined her differently. Less vacant staring into space.

(THANK YOU CLEVER READERS FOR YOUR EXCELLENT THEORIES! I always enjoy hearing them and am working on my poker face and ability to slyly and knowingly murmur ‘You noticed that, did you?’)

But THEN, I thought, well, this is a nice question to get just after the Seb/Jamie fanmix. Plus, I do believe that characters are made up from a million different things layered on top of each other, and some of those things are unconscious. 

I like Wuthering Heights. I like Hareton Earnshaw: I always liked how he was the only person who loved Heathcliff in the end, even though he’d been wronged by him, and I liked that he was furious at the world, uneducated and terribly aware of it, and that he has a big crush on a cute blonde. I didn’t consciously base Seb on him, but I can see points of similarity between him and Seb even though there are also many differences—his dynamic with his love interest being one.

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I *have* written a character consciously inspired by an Emily Bronte character, but it wasn’t Seb. Nor was it Nick—but Nick was inspired by a tradition of romantic heroes, including Heathcliff, who present as tall, dark, handsome and lacking in certain emotions (though always capable of a double-scoop of fury with rage sprinkles). Said heroes are usually seen from the outside, and I thought it would be interesting to write from the inside of one of those heroes, and show that he really didn’t work the same way as other people—to get inside the head of one of the ‘demon lovers’ (from ‘like a woman wailing for her demon lover,’ Kubla Khan) and go: yep, demon.

In some ways, Seb was spun off from Nick. I always think it is super interesting to investigate how similar affect and behaviour can come from really different places in different people. I didn’t want to say: if you act this way, it’s because you’re like this. There are a ton of different reasons for why people act the way they do: Nick did because he didn’t feel fear, and Seb because fear was what ruled him and he dared not show it. I wanted to think a little bit about the reasons why humans pretend to be inhuman.

One thing that Nick could not feel, especially not at the stage of emotional development he was during the series, was romantic love. (Urgent memo to all Nick shippers: do not despair, that doesn’t mean he won’t get there.) Even if Nick were to feel such a thing, it probably wouldn’t be in a human way.

But said heroes in said romantic tradition often did have romantic obsessions, often with people they did not treat well because of said burning passion: And since there are always about a million straight versions of any story and an exteme lack of versions with LGBTQ themes, I thought it would be interesting to write about such a passion focused on someone of the same sex, and what that would look like: I figured probably initially super crappy for the object of those affections. (Sorry Jamie. Sorry about your life and all the Byronic figures in it.) 

It’s very tricky to talk about characters being based off other characters, for many reasons: in my experience, a character is never directly based off one other character. The inspiration for a character can come from another character, and as I’ve said that was the case with me once—but if that had been all there was to the character, I’d never have been interested enough to write about them.

Writers tend to like their own characters better than anyone else’s. (With some exceptions. See also: Elizabeth Bennet, major league literary babe.) And yet readers like to map characters onto other characters—which is a totally normal thing to do and something I have seen many times. So with good intentions on all sides, a reader might say ‘that character is like that other character!’ and the writer might go: ‘That neighbour’s child is gross compared to my baby!’ and the poor reader’s like ‘whoa, both kids seem fine…’

Alternatively, readers may write something like ‘Sarah Rees Brennan is a gross hack because her character Lettice Jenkins is a total ripoff of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot’ and the writer is left going ‘But I… but wha…?’

I wish to stress that I like Bronte and so this was a totally fine question to ask and an interesting thing to think about, but I admit I had moments going ‘dslfdsofgfhkl! murder!’ when people compared my Ryves brothers to the Supernatural characters and I had a couple of such moments with Lynburn Legacy characters too. So I always do raise an eyebrow when I hear someone saying ‘such-and-such a character is totally so-and-so’ because I know that it’s probably not the case.

But at the same time asking a writer because one is curious and cares about the writer’s characters is a huge compliment. All writers want readers to care about their characters. And if you ask a writer, it’s flattering because it means you wish for their opinion. ;)

So the answer, as usual with me, is: it’s complicated! And I can go on about it at length. ;) Readers generally cannot know for sure what is going on in a writer’s mind. But a writer doesn’t always know for sure what’s going on in their own mind, either.

REBLOGGING AN ASK FOR GREAT JUSTICE

So, an anonymous personage wrote to me and told me someone was upset and offended by this post I made, and I never want people to be upset and offended by the things I say—and when they are, as they inevitably sometimes will be, I want to try and make it better.

So I thought I’d take another stab at it, and clarify what I meant, with my apologies to those who I offended before with my clumsy words, and to catreadsbooks if she felt I answered her question thoughtlessly! (N.B. I am sure I will treasure your tears.)

Warning… I may mess this post up too. I have almost infinite messing-up capabilities, it’s very impressive…

(and because this is VERY LONG, it is under a cut.)

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marasunbecomingevolution

bookworm-in-love:

So here’s Amanda’s (perfect-in-pearls) and my first entry for Sarah Rees Brennan’s Untold contest! We have a free period because of online classes so this is how we chose to spend it today. No we are not truants (we just really love Unspoken).

Would you look at these cuties reading Unspoken? I particularly commend them for heroics like climbing into a bin and finding lockers that match the book. ;)

First entry for Pictures of Yourself Reading Unspoken In Weird Places in the Untold Contest is 100 % awesome!

Whenever I See Someone Saying…

'But this is just FICTION, you know, it's not REAL, it's a story, they're FICTIONAL CHARACTERS…'

Look, we all know that. Nobody is rattling wardrobe doors trying to get into Narnia. (OK maybe once but I was young.) Nobody is breaking into a discussion about the postal service going ‘I know, right? Damn owls… where is my Hogwarts letter?’ Nobody thinks Oliver Twist was a historical figure. (Good name for a male exotic dancer, though.)

Everybody knows. The stuff has a label on it. Like so…

Very necessary and important label! You know, like other important labels we have.

But of course, nobody ever reminds you ‘IT’S FICTION!’ because they think you don’t know.

They think you shouldn’t care because it’s fiction, or that it’s not important because it’s fiction.

Jane Austen, knowing where it was at since 1787: 

'It is only a novel… or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.'

We all know it’s fiction. (As a group we tend to read pretty well.)

It’s not that we don’t understand. It’s that we don’t agree.

We know it’s fiction, and we think it’s important.

Aw, thank you! I am happy to be an inspiration and happy Cass is one too. ;) I hope you meet us some day as well! (Cass is pretty charming and eloquent, you’ll enjoy that, and I… uh… perform strange tricks like a wayward monkey. It’ll be fun!) And lots of luck with your writing.
I believe I just chatted idly about the many romantic possibilities I saw for Stiles on Teen Wolf. Erica. Isaac. Danny. Allison. I forget which I picked! I am fickle and wayward like that…
Sometimes I have a One True Pairing when I’m reading/watching, sometimes I’m just enjoying the (in this case, absurd werewolf) ride. 
Both attitudes have their fun side.
One True Pairing means you get to chant ‘Kiss kiss kiss!’ at the screen or the page… but it can mean disappointment! Bitter tears! Never getting over certain situations like The X ‘It Doesn’t Matter If You Wait Till Nobody Cares’ Files and The Secret ‘Nobody Mention Dickon To Me’ Garden. I have been watching The Mindy Project recently, and I find myself twitching when romantic situations happen not involving my preferred couple. Romance, it can enhance or mess up your reading and viewing experience, just as it can enhance or mess up your living experience!
Shippin’ thoughts. ;)

Aw, thank you! I am happy to be an inspiration and happy Cass is one too. ;) I hope you meet us some day as well! (Cass is pretty charming and eloquent, you’ll enjoy that, and I… uh… perform strange tricks like a wayward monkey. It’ll be fun!) And lots of luck with your writing.

I believe I just chatted idly about the many romantic possibilities I saw for Stiles on Teen Wolf. Erica. Isaac. Danny. Allison. I forget which I picked! I am fickle and wayward like that…

Sometimes I have a One True Pairing when I’m reading/watching, sometimes I’m just enjoying the (in this case, absurd werewolf) ride. 

Both attitudes have their fun side.

One True Pairing means you get to chant ‘Kiss kiss kiss!’ at the screen or the page… but it can mean disappointment! Bitter tears! Never getting over certain situations like The X ‘It Doesn’t Matter If You Wait Till Nobody Cares’ Files and The Secret ‘Nobody Mention Dickon To Me’ Garden. I have been watching The Mindy Project recently, and I find myself twitching when romantic situations happen not involving my preferred couple. Romance, it can enhance or mess up your reading and viewing experience, just as it can enhance or mess up your living experience!

Shippin’ thoughts. ;)

libraryjournal
Every Monday, in thousands of language and language arts classes, children are given a list of 20 vocabulary words … If you show the list of 20 words to a child who has read, who grew up with books, he probably knows 15 or 16 of the words already. He has seen them before, in Choose Your Own Adventure, Harry Potter, and Batman Returns. If he studies, he gets an A. If he doesn’t study, he gets a B. If you show the list of 20 words to a child who did not grow up with books, the situation is very different. He may know five or six of the words. If he studies, with a heroic effort, he might get a D+.

Thanksgiving

Oh I’ve celebrated American Thanksgiving a time or two, hosted by very kind peoples. I love pie? The rest of it is pretty mystifying to me: I am terribly lazy, so, like: ANOTHER festivity between Halloween and Christmas? Okay, you energetic celebrationers!

Sadly no pie for me tomorrow! (I mean, I guess I could buy pie…)

But it’s a nice idea, to take the time to be thankful.

I am thankful for those I love: my friends, my family, my friends again. 

I am thankful for the lessons of my friends: it takes a really long time to learn that people who care about you will act as if they care about you. You learn it by having people be good to you, and learning to be good to them.

I am thankful for the lessons of the internet: when it is awesome and gives me contact with readers and the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and when (sometimes I don’t listen!) it sayeth unto me: Close that laptop. Close it like the door to a tiger’s cage!

I am thankful for those who have taken a chance on my books: publishers, readers, everyone. This means YOU! Everyone who read Unspoken this year, I am particularly thankful for you!

I am thankful for pie. In general.

I am thankful for my genre, because I love me some YA.

I am thankful for romance, because my next three books to read are all romance novels and I am super excited to read them!

I am thankful for miniature cupcakes, sunshine that is happening somewhere else in the world, and the hilarious thing that happened to me yesterday (and the other hilarious thing that happened the day before that, and the day before that…) (I am thankful for this world of hilarity!)

I am thankful for EVERYBODY who wrote me about the end of Unspoken and said ‘WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?’

(I think my thankfulness is clear every day on that subject.)

Most of all, best of all, worth mentioning again: I am thankful for friends and readers… not just of my books but all books, people who love to play in imaginary worlds, people who are the most likely people to become my friends. ;)

brambleberrycottage

brambleberrycottage:

Sarah Rees Brennan: This Book Will Ruin Your Life

sarahreesbrennan:

brambleberrycottage:

sarahreesbrennan:

It’s possible I’ve never written a trilogy before.

I know, I totally thought I had: but switching narrators does mean that you have to wrap up the narrator’s emotional arc a lil bit. But having Kami have the whole Lynburn Legacy as hers means that her emotional arc is spread out, too: notes of…

I wish I had known just how unceasing the agony would be! Two whole years until I know what becomes of my lovelies.

Golly no! Just one year. Good heavens I am not a SLOWPOKE. Untold is all written and everything! It’s in copyedits. *waves to the land of copyedits, where they fix the fiddly bits*

No, no, my evil queen. I meant two years until the third book is out. I assumed one a year, but are both Untold and #3 coming out in 2013? After all, I am pretty sure Untold will also leave me a puddle of feelings on the floor, so I am holding out hope that the third book will somehow allow my lovelies some measure of happiness. (I don’t hold with depressing books. I can handle pain and tears and heartwrenching, gutting passages that … shh, spoilers. But there must be happiness in the end.)

Ohhh I see. No, No. 3, Unbroken, is out in 2014.

But some people’s stories end in Untold, so you’ll know what becomes of them then!

brambleberrycottage

brambleberrycottage:

sarahreesbrennan:

It’s possible I’ve never written a trilogy before.

I know, I totally thought I had: but switching narrators does mean that you have to wrap up the narrator’s emotional arc a lil bit. But having Kami have the whole Lynburn Legacy as hers means that her emotional arc is spread out, too: notes of…

I wish I had known just how unceasing the agony would be! Two whole years until I know what becomes of my lovelies.

Golly no! Just one year. Good heavens I am not a SLOWPOKE. Untold is all written and everything! It’s in copyedits. *waves to the land of copyedits, where they fix the fiddly bits*