Episode 67: Author Intrusion and Time Looping

In this episode

Author intrusion and time looping… and middle school kissing!

Abby had a hell of a few weeks, putting her house on the market. She basically sucked all the fun out of her family in preparation to sell their home, and she wouldn’t even let anyone sit on their bed. The house must not look lived in! The result was not only a major dose of #adulting in real life, but also #adultvoice in her middle grades novel.

Some of it was easy to fix. As Jennie points out, often times you just go in and erase those bits of author intrusion. (Because that’s exactly what happened in this case. Abby the Mom stepped in for Abby the Writer.) But it also created a big logic hole, which Jennie, Abby, and Mel pick apart. For the story to work, the characters needed to LIE TO A MOM. And Abby was like, “NOPE. Can’t encourage lying.” How to you write a realistic conversation about lying between two 13-year old characters while not necessarily endorsing the act itself? Jennie advises her to get creative about the lie while still acknowledging it. Sometimes acknowledging it is enough - readers know they shouldn't lie to their parents, but they also know what's going to happen in the story if they don't.

“Have the vultures be circling!” –Jennie

Time looping. It’s a super common problem. You’re in story present, and you loop back just a couple minutes or a couple beats back in time to explain something. Then you move forward again.

It's fine to inject the information, but it needs to be in the context of story present. Time looping is something that's really easy to do, and really easy to miss. Regardless of how you choose to solve it, it has to make sense in the context of the story.