Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Writing Regrets #IWSG

Have you ever written something that afterwards you felt conflicted about? If so, did you let it stay how it was, take it out, or rewrite it?

This is the IWSG question of the month.  

My debut novel was Wielder's Prize, a YA Fantasy Adventure. I'd done my research, read heaps of fantasy novels, heaps of young adult novels, heaps of young adult fantasy novels. I was pretty sure I knew the market. It was a story I was super proud of and happy to share with the world. What I hadn't expected was that for some people, the portrayal of physical abuse is a trigger--a bigger one than I had anticipated. And I portray it early in the story. I feared it had an impact on sales, because those people were loudly vocal about their feelings in their reviews. While the majority of my reviews were four stars or higher, I never wanted people to feel uncomfortable, and while we can't please everyone, I wanted to do something about it. 

The situation my main character grew up in was integral to the story, so it wasn't just a matter of taking that portion out entirely. The whole point of the overarching story across the three books was the importance of forgiveness. So, I came to a compromise and revisited the beginning of the story so that the abuse is softened greatly. It will still be a trigger for some. That I can't change. But I hope that I've made it less uncomfortable when there are already enough things in this world that are grim.

Having learnt that lesson, I now steer clear of anything that's remotely controversial. I applaud writers who can tackle those difficult subjects, but for myself, I just want to offer exciting, escapist reads.

How about you? Ever feel conflicted about something you wrote?

This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month, members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE.