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Swoon Author L.E. DeLano: Ask Yourself (And Your Character) “What Did You Learn?”

I will confess right now that I wasn’t sure how I was going to end Dreamer. I knew where I wanted my characters to beat the end, mind you; I just wasn’t entirely sure how we were getting there. I’m a “pantser” sort of writer and as I began telling the rest of Jessa’s story, I found myself stuck every so often, as all writers do.

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Then I remembered something I read once from the great Madeleine L’Engle about being at a “stuck” point: stop and let your character look around that scene you just stalled them in. What have they learned? That can be a great way to build the next logical move—or have them throw that out the window in a moment of recklessness. You can take inventory of the skills they’ve learned on their journey so far and pull out something surprising (like the way Rose put Jack’s spitting lesson to good use in Titanic). You can also let them be overconfident, and deal them a crushing blow when things go wrong and they haven’t really learned what they truly needed to learn.

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I’d like to add one more view. I think it’s important to ask yourself what you’ve learned from your characters. They are all like children in that they grow and become these fierce or frustrating creatures far beyond our original vision for them. You owe it to them to tell their story as authentically as possible.

My greatest goal with Dreamer was to let Jessa learn and show us what she’s learned—not just her Traveler skills, but about life, friends, family, and most of all about trusting every bit of every one of her amazing and vibrant selves.

I can’t wait for you to read what Jessa’s learned and taught me. Dreamer is out on April 10th!

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Author spotlight

L.E. DeLano

Author of the YA fantasies TRAVELER and DREAMER. I love Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Star Trek, Once Upon A Time, …

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