Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I got involved in a discussion at another site today where a reader wanted the author of a bestselling novel to go back and write a scene that took place off-stage, because the reader thought this would enhance her enjoyment of the novel.

It's an issue that's been bothering me more and more lately--readers who want all the blanks filled in. I don't want to see drawings of Jamie and Claire or have missing scenes drawn out for me. The author didn't write a graphic novel, and I prefer the pictures in my head based on her character descriptions.

The best compliment I ever got on my own writing was from a friend who read Smuggler's Bride and told me I'd described his grandma's farmhouse out in the piney woods, all the way down to the detached kitchen. His vision of my cabin was to see his grandma's house, and that was fine with me. It meant I'd given him enough detail that he could use his imagination to fill in the blanks, even if the house he saw wasn't the same as the house I saw in my mind.

For the same reason, I've always resisted character covers on my books because I don't want a cover artist to show his/her version of my characters. I want the readers to have their own vision of what my characters look like based on my descriptive powers.

Although when I saw Nathan Fillion as Captain Mal in Firefly, after I finished writing Smuggler's Bride, there was a "Hmmmm...." moment, but even he doesn't look quite how I envision Rand Washburn. Which is not to say if I sold the movie rights and he was cast in the role I'd bitch about it. Might even try to get myself invited onto the set.

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