Authors get really good at making readers believe on thing when it's really something totally different. Whether it's about the hero suddenly being the villain, or an apparently safe plan turning out to be a death trap. This is just another one of the things that makes books amazing!
But readers, did you know that authors themselves fall captive to the exact same problem? (Except it's not nearly as thrilling as the hero stabbing the ever-faithful friend in the back to turn the story around)
Here are five things that we, as authors, will tell you and what we are actually doing/thinking when you're back is turned:
Scene #1: Friend: "So, how is your book coming along?"
Author: "Great, there is nothing like the thrills of writing!
Reality: At the moment my writing is going great! The scenes are fast and exciting with lots of inspiration for future scenes.
Same scene 1 week later: I am a failure at writing! Why did I ever think I could write something worth reading?
Scene #2: Friend: "Shouldn't you be working on your book so you can finish it before your self-set deadline?"
Author: "I"m taking a break so I can work through a complicated part before actually writing it down and committing."
Reality: That's elegant-ees for, "I'm procrastinating."
Scene #3: Friend: "How is that difficult part coming along?"
Author: "Eh, it's nothing I can't handle."
Reality: I'm drowning in an ocean of doubt and misery with nothing but a boat made of Swiss Cheese. I don't even have any crackers!
Scene #4: Friend: "Did you make this character off of (insert-name-of-a-close-acquaintance-here)?"
Author: "Oh no, I wouldn't do that."
Reality: Of course the character is based off of that person! But I would never say so because that character dies/is the betrayer/is the villain/or something else horrendous and I would be digging my own grave if I admitted that their character type was perfect for such a character as this!
Reality option #2: Mentally thanking you for such a wonderful idea!
Scene #5: Mom: "Did anybody take the ice cream/chocolate/coffee maker(and everything else that accompanies it)/chips/crackers/ect."
The question will vary depending on the author.
Author: "Check the top shelf."
Reality: Please don't let mom look under the bed! Oh please, oh please, oh please don't look under the bed. Or in the closet... or under the covers... ... ... Just don't go in my room!!
So the next time you ask an author one of these questions... you know what, just don't ask an author these questions. You'll be doing us a huge favor!
All authors have awkward interactions with normal people - that's just the life of a person who lives multiple lives. Sharing those stories is a great way to make new friends and have a good laugh. Please drop a comment below if you have every had a funny author-problem story! (Nobody will tattle about the ice cream! Promise.)