What a treat to have Elizabeth Scott, well-loved author of SOMETHING, MAYBE, BLOOM, PERFECT YOU and many more - and our second Author-In-Residence at readergirlz - here to spill her Story Secrets about THE UNWRITTEN RULE, which just released this week! (If you missed other Story Secrets, read them here!)
THE UNWRITTEN RULE is about a girl who falls for her best friend's boyfriend. As you can guess, things get really messy really fast, and although the story is a romance, it's as much about friendship and how complicated it can be as it is about love.
How did THE UNWRITTEN RULE come to you?
I actually came up with it when I was talking to my editor, Jen Klonsky! We were talking about high school and somehow we ended up talking about the things you weren't supposed to ever do--like liking a friend's boyfriend or ex-boyfriend. "It's like a unwritten rule!" I said, and then WHAM! The story just hit me.
Jen is amazing enough to take the time to talk through ideas that aren't even ideas and then lets me run with them! I love her for that.
What was it like to write about a friend who falls in love with her best friend's boyfriend?
I thought the book would be a simple love story--but once you put friendship into the mix, it can't be simple. It just can't. And that was challenging, but I like writing about friendships and how they aren't as perfect as everyone thinks they are--or should be.
Do your stories come out perfectly the first time, or do you do a lot of revising in the process?
I go through a lot of drafts--A LOT. And my stories shrink, on average, but about thirty to forty percent between first and final draft because I always think of what Elmore Lenoard says: "Leave out the parts the people skip." It's great advice, although it can be hard to follow when it comes to a passage you love. But those are the ones that usually need to be cut.
I love that! My sweetheart is one of my first readers, and he always says, "It's great! Now I can help you cut the boring parts." Sometimes I have to cut things I love, but he's usually right. Do you talk with anyone about your writing?
I hate talking about what I'm working on--I don't even like telling people I write! But I do share everything--including all those horrible drafts, with my amazing friend Jess. I said in LOVE YOU HATE YOU MISS YOU that she deserved a parade, and I wasn't kidding!
Do your own experiences make their way into your novels?
Not at all. I like making up stories about other people. Writing about myself would be weird and boring.
I don't believe that...there have to be some secrets. So spill 'em, Elizabeth!
I'm left-handed, I'm addicted to celebrity gossip, and I like watching TV--I know, but I do! I also didn't start writing until I was 27, and I am allergic to just about every food--especially fruit-- you can think of. Needless to say, this makes dining out a pleasure!
Thank you, Elizabeth!
And check this out, a really cute fan-made book trailer for THE UNWRITTEN RULE: