It's always far too easy to confuse a creative person with the work they do. I'm glad I'm not an actress, because at least half of the people who watch a movie don't seem to realize that actors play characters who are not themselves. That's the whole point of the word "actor." The idea of representing somewhat other than yourself. But far too few people understand this. The character becomes real to us and then we forget the actor is acting. But that doesn't make the illusion anything other than that. An illusion. Actors are not the characters they play, unless they're quite bad actors indeed.
In the same way, I've felt people have tried to view my work over the last decade as a personal expression. In short, that my heroines are me. Their romances are what I'd theoretically like to have; their falsities and errors are mine; if they are shady or make mistakes, that's because I'm a very shady, mistake-ridden person. If they are shy or in pain, that's because I'm revealing my pain to the world; if they're tolerant, their tolerance of that exact thing is a reflection of mine. I've already talked about the problem this created with Alyce, where a resigned, slightly run-over girl is the main character. But it appeared with every one of my books.
To make things worse, a very large number of authors DO write only about themselves, as there are untalented actors who can't act. Some of these authors are just living the dream in their fiction and admit it, but the others are actually trying to write about other people and can't because their writing is so bad. There's nothing but a bad motive in trying to apply that as a sweeping label to any author you run across. That kind of attitude is out of place and in doing it you will make the mistake of not seeing what's actually in their books. Hence people would treat me in an amazing way because they thought I was the heroine they were currently reading about. And I didn't, of course, love an assumption in its essence belittling. Why wouldn't I be a good enough writer to show other people? I don't think you have any proof I'm so amateur.
My stories are complex and I'm actually trying to say something with them. If that preconception that I'm working through or fantasizing about my own situations is removed, the real story in the books is a whole lot easier to see. In most of my stories, I write about situations in which a bad guy is revealed to be a surprise and not who you think. If you're endlessly reading through a lens of, "I bet you showed this heroine as afraid of the lead male because you're afraid of men," you'll miss the point. Like Stormtroopers with random targets, you'll do nothing but miss.
And there will be more updates.
Now the little details of redoing 5 books at once, a website, a newsletter with a lot of new subscribers, and a lot of other little writing-related things are finished, I'm preparing to plunge into Consuela, The Prince's Ball, and a contemporary family story called A Year with the Harrisons Even tricky things like learning to embed code and create welcome emails are behind me. I'm incredibly proud of the books I've put out and I'm detached as well. I know some are weaker than others, and I applied an extensive amount of critical thinking to all my stories to narrow it down to these 5, and to make the changes to them I did.
On a fun note, I stumbled on a wonderful artist who did creative envisioning of the Disney princesses in the world of Star Wars, as Jedi. It was eye-opening because some translated so much better than others. Most of the Disney princess movies are appealing only to "Disney princess" people, but a surprising few have an additional audience beyond the original fan base. You can tell by the costumes, especially if you're familiar with Star Wars. Here's a gallery of some of them. (Be sure to remember the artist as well, she's got watermarks on the images)
Check out Cinderella! She looks so authentic it's easy to believe she was somewhere in the Prequels, in the back of the Jedi Council. And what about Minnie Mouse?! She reminds me so much of Princess Leia. But Aurora looks--weird. Just weird, like 1960s sarcastic comedy about men who are heralds. Guess this movie was really dated. And Rapunzel's long hair and bare feet are honestly impractical for fighting as a Jedi.
Looked great: Pocahontas; Snow White; Anna; Jasmine; Cinderella; Minnie Mouse
Kind of meh: Aurora; Tiana; Rapunzel; Eilonwy
Didn't make the crossover, IMO: Ariel; Belle; Elsa; Mulan; Esmeralda; Merida
And there will be more updates.
Pleasant Fiction in an Age of Noise
This blog serves as the newsletter for Sarah Scheele.com. Posts are delivered to your inbox every Saturday. For fast subscription instead of visiting a link to another website, fill out the form below and you will receive the 9-Chapter Sampler shown above, in PDF. To get the book in Epub or Mobi formats you will need to use the external link above.
When I set about defining my books, I wanted them to be positive places where a gentleness emanated from the pages. A hopeful safety lies in gentleness and there's also an honesty to it. A whirlwind of pushy book blurbs and hot characters (or whatever type character the author wants you to admire) can conceal a reality underneath. A quiet--possibly even lurking--reality that's more visible if you dial down the volume. That lurking reality isn't necessarily bad, but like anything quiet, it gets drowned out by conflict and angst. Peaceful fiction can help explore the truth that noisy books ignore.
Bellevere House has been featured on Ezvid Wiki video "10 Wonderfully Inventive Retellings That Interpret Classic Stories in a New Way." Click to see the video.