Jamie McCall
Jamie McCall asked Shannon Messenger:

I want to be a writer too, and I know that you have to get to know your characters really well to write your story. So I was wondering when you were writing exile, did you ever not want to write something, but you felt like you had too?

Shannon Messenger Yay for being a writer!

And to answer your question: Yes. It's SO HARD letting bad things happen to my characters--and even harder letting them make mistakes.

But that's what you have to do if you're going to stay true to who they are as individual characters. And that doesn't just apply to EXILE, there's things in all of my books where I'm secretly pleading with the characters, "NO DON'T DO THAT--YOU WILL REGRET IT LATER." But I have to remember that characters aren't perfect, so sometimes they say or do the wrong thing. They get angry and say stuff that hurts people, or they take a risk that has huge consequences, or sometimes they don't do anything, but the world around them does something that hurts them.

It's all very hard for me as a writer, and I've been known to cry at my laptop sometimes as I'm typing. But I also feel like those moments in the books are the ones that are the most real. Like, when I hear that someone is mad at one of my characters or that they cried because of something that happened, that's when I know I'm doing my job and staying true to the story.
Shannon Messenger

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