First Stop on the Playing Hurt Tour- Guest post by the author herself

As promised i bring to you a guest post by Holly Schindler...


Chelsea Before Her Injury

Before Chelsea’s injury, her world would have involved the basketball court—and her driveway.  She would have spent hours in that driveway, practicing all her shots.  I can see her racing through her homework in order to get back to her driveway practice sessions. I can see texts going unanswered as Chelsea perfects her layup.  I can see her out in that driveway in the heat of summer, as night descends, even as the rain starts to fall.  Her world, to a great extent, would have been in that rectangle of concrete…until her horrible accident, of course.

But you know, I have a theory about characters who haven’t endured emotional turmoil—I just don’t think you can write a novel about them.  In my debut, A BLUE SO DARK, Aura endures her fair share of tragedy: the loss of her father, her mother’s slow descent into madness…And both protagonists in PLAYING HURT have been dealt their share of tragedy as well: Chelsea the loss of her basketball, Clint the loss of his girlfriend. 

A character who has not endured his or her own share of heartache is fairly one-dimensional, because—let’s face it—happiness is one-dimensional.  It’s—happy.  Period. 

I think that even when you have a character who is generally upbeat and positive, you should seriously consider what that person has endured in their lifetime.  Imagine what the source of their greatest disappointment so far might be.  I mean, your character might not have lost his girlfriend in an accident, like Clint…but what’s been the greatest disappointment in your character’s life so far?  What is a source of fear for your character?  Why?  That’s the kind of thing that will begin to add depth to your character. 

So—life before the accident?  Chelsea was a ball player.  Sure—she had a boyfriend, a life off the court.  But in her head?  She was a ballplayer.  Period.  After the accident?  Chelsea has to redefine herself—and crafting that new definition is part of what truly begins to give her depth.


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