So today I'm super excited to have author Holly Schindler on the blog as she talks about her writing experience with her two very popular YA novels A Blue so Dark and Playing Hurt!
Write, And Rewrite, And Rewrite, And...
by Holly Schindler
My second novel, PLAYING HURT, was initially drafted before my debut, A BLUE SO DARK—in about ’04 or ’05! When you sit down to write a novel, you don’t think it’ll be six years before it hits the shelves…But in many ways, I’m glad it took so long.
I rewrote the book several times, peeling back the layers of my characters with each rewrite.
Each time I completed the book, I felt good about it—felt it was a solid story about a girl who went on a family vacation and found herself falling for one of the resort guides in a way that she had never fallen for her boyfriend at home…She learned the difference, over her vacation, between loving someone (the way she felt for her boyfriend) and really being passionately IN love with someone (the way she felt about the guide). I called the original book SUMMER FLING, because it was a story about how one girl’s summer fling hadn’t really JUST been a fling after all—it had been one of the more meaningful events of her life.
In ’09, after selling BLUE, I re-read the book, and I had this “something’s missing” pang—I suddenly realized my characters needed backstory. In reading my book, I was suddenly struck by how athletic Chelsea seemed. I began to rewrite, giving her a sports history…after a few chapters, I realized Clint needed backstory, too. So I began to write chapters from his POV.
The love / in love storyline does still exist…It’s not the ONLY storyline now. But that’s the beauty of not giving up on a book that hasn’t sold…every book becomes richer and more complex with each rewrite…so take advantage of every rejection. Use it as an excuse to infuse your novel with another level of depth!
PLAYING HURT Jacket Copy:
Star basketball player Chelsea “Nitro” Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone’s admiration in her hometown. But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.
As a graduation present, Chelsea’s dad springs for a three-week summer “boot camp” program at a northern Minnesota lake resort. There, she’s immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who’s haunted by his own traumatic past. As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home. Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain—or finally heal their heartbreak?
A BLUE SO DARK Jacket Copy:
Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura’s dad left them. Convinced that “creative” equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.
Find out more about Holly at her website Hollyschindler.com or follow her twitter page @holly_schnidler
Thanks Holly for stopping by today! Wishing you all the best in your YA writing career! I know Im off to pick up my copy of A Blue so Dark!!