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May 7th, 2008

Twist on SHATTERED

 So, I've been writing like eight million posts in the last week or so because I can't tear myself away from the writing world long enough to think of something else. 

And so, I thought I'd share with you guys what got me started on this write-a-thon. 

I told cyn2writethat I wanted to write a novel about an abusive relationship, becuase I had just finished reading DREAMLAND by Sara Dessen. And while I get that abusive relationships come in many forms, i hated that she never attempted to make the reader understand the boyfriend's emotions or  motivations. There was no sympathy for him. His abuse came from a purely angry, controlling place. 

And while I'm sure there are a ton of those stories out there, there are also stories of abuse that come from a different place. A place where the abuser is as haunted by what he does as the abused. And i wanted to write that. But i know that a book about an abusive relationship might not be considered fresh. And I know that the average reader, when reading about a girl being with someone who hits her and verbally abuses her, the reader reaches a moment where they decided, thats it. That's the moment I would break up with him. It might come at a different moment for each reader, but most readers think they wouldn't put up with it. They choose that moment, and they dvide the book into before and after, and they lose their sympathy for the girl for the AFTER part, beucuase they've decided she's making the wrong choice. 

And then Cyn mentioned she'd read an article once, about a young teenage couple who were new parents, and they'd given pu on all their dreams becuase of their new responsibility, and it was heartbreaking. And the article went on to show their relationship, in reverse chronological order, so that you saw them come back to life and you saw their hopes and dreams re-enter the story. And it ends the moment they met, and you walk away, realizing that as they said hello for the first time, they had no idea the course their lives were about to take. 

And immediately, I was hooked. It was just an article, so I still have no idea if it will work, but SHATTERED is being written in reverse chronological order. It starts with the peak of the abuse, with her battered and broken both inside and out, and it carries you through their story, barreling back towards the beginning, towards the moment they met and her fate became twisted. 

it remains to be seen if it will work. Maybe my agent will read and say, "WTF? Why did you do this? Just tell it the regular way. This is weird."

But for now, I love this. I love that a reader can no longer decide, "this is the moment i would leave him," because things wil get progressively better, not worse. Its weird writing the moment they meet so long after writing everything else, but I really, really like it. Hopefully the rest of this goes well!

 

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