Wednesday, May 19, 2010

From Formspring: What's one thing that you scripted/intended but never actually fit into the story (any one) once you started writing?

asked by SharonTheRose, 5/17/2010

WARNING! This answer contains what some might consider MINOR SPOILERS for the first book. Nothing too big or important, but it does deal with an interaction between some of the major characters in the series.

I originally intended for Yvonne to be a very minor character in my first book, then never mention her again. She was supposed to be a source of conflict for Meg: an old friend who Meg fell out of sorts with after they became room mates. In the earlier parts of the first book, this is apparent: Meg is jealous of Yvonne's confidence and good looks, and even briefly fears that Garrett might lose interested of her in favor of her more attractive room mate.

To that end, originally Yvonne was going to be much more of a bitch. She wouldn't have much control over her mouth, and would often be insensitive to other people's feelings. She was going to attempt to steal Garrett from Meg and, after failing, push Meg into leaving and moving in with Garrett. But as I wrote for her, I found that I liked Yvonne and that I kept using her to say things no other character could. For example, the morning after Meg and Garrett's second date Yvonne, amazed Meg hasn't slept with him yet, jokes, "Are you sure you're not a lesbian?"

My attempts to make her a bitch by having her constantly say the first thing that popped into her head failed, and actually resulted in a very likable character who could always be counted on to tell you what she really thought. This side of Yvonne emerged when one of Meg's friends confronted her about how mysterious Garrett seemed. Yvonne was in the room at the time, and it just seemed to me that the character would stick up for Meg without hesitation. From that moment on, I liked Yvonne and decided she was too great a character to not keep around. She never attempted to seduce Garrett or interfere in their relationship in any way.

So, I never wrote the "Yvonne coming on to Garrett" scene, and I never will. Maybe in an alternate universe or something, but not this one. I also briefly intended for Max to hook up with Yvonne after a party, but decided against this. I don't think that Max would be able to put up with Yvonne for even one night, no matter how drunk he got. In fact, I think the drunker Max was, the less patience he'd have for her. Kicking this idea out led to the introduction of one of my favorite characters from any of my books: Max's girlfriend Sadie. I guess that's two scenes I never wrote: Yvonne trying to seduce Garrett, and Meg waking up to find Max in her apartment after he'd had drunk-sex with Yvonne.