cheap shot

March 08, 2009

She had to ask! From Deborah Bouziden: In one of your books, you killed a dog. You’ve said you would never do it again. Why not?

SW: Yeah, I still feel bad about poor old Gladstone. The reason I wouldn’t do it again is that it’s manipulative. A cheap shot. It’s an amateurish way to wring emotion from the reader and I did it because, well, I was an amateur, a self-taught writer in my twenties. The heroine’s world was being destroyed all around her, and the dog was the metaphor for that, and I wanted the reader to feel sad for her, so I showed the dog being killed. By one of the bad guys, as it happens.

I’m not an amateur anymore. I know better. If I were to do that now, I’d be cheating; it would be lazy writing. A mature writer knows how to plumb the character for genuine emotion.

| 1 Comment
  • Growth is good. You were young.. now, you are so much better. The #1 spot on NYT list = the best. Lizzie is half way through Fireside. Loves it! She said – your books are soooo good.

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