Stephanie J. Blake
The worst thing I have ever done to one of my characters? I've left some of their stories unfinished. Who has a box of unfinished or rejected manuscripts? I do.
There's the story of three boys who start a summer business. Each boy is dealing with a family issue, and these problems have brought them together in friendship. Mattie's dad died, Jefferson's dad lives in Seattle, and Trevor's dad is an overbearing sports junkie. Did their business fail? Does Annabelle stop tormenting them?
"Trevor stared at his dad’s blubbery belly. If he was so good at football in college, why hadn't he gone pro instead of becoming a tax accountant? How boring." --from Walking the Dogs (MG)
What about Kat? She's had a rough junior year and it's only spiraled. Her boyfriend left her in the lurch with an unplanned pregnancy and her father, the school principal, keeps reminding her that she lives in a fishbowl.
"Now, you’ve done it.
Don’t you know that our family lives in a fishbowl?
What you do with that boy reflects on my abilities as an educator.
How can I effectively manage 200 high school students
when I can’t even control my own daughter?" ---From Kat in the Fishbowl (a YA verse novel)
Then there's 11-year old Liberty Moon. Her dad is getting remarried and the school bully is a horrible girl. What happens to her imaginary friend and her not-so-wicked stepmother? Does Liberty win the Citizenship award? Is her stepmother really okay?
"Everyone knows that flower girls are never eleven and three quarters." --From "Liberty Moon is Totally Doomed." (MG)
Layla Watson lives in a tiny town she calls the Armpit of Colorado. A strange, and very cute, but troubled boy comes to town and Layla falls for him when he starts working in the family butcher shop. Layla's best friend Ethan has a secret crush, but is it on Layla or the new boy?
"You may as well know a couple of important things about me, up front. A: I’m not ugly, I’m perfectly cute. B. I have never cut, colored, or curled my waist-length hair. C: I don’t eat red meat, even though my parents, and my grandparents before them, own the biggest meat market in the area. And 4: I will always live in the shadow of my dead brother, but I don’t like to talk about that. Ever." --From "Meat Market" (YA romance)
Layla, Liberty, Mattie, and Kat have unfinished stories...these poor kids are stuck in my computer or in my head. That's the cruelest thing I've ever done to one of my characters.