Last night on Compuserve...

Here's an exchange of messages between me and Diana Gabaldon on Compuserve last night. As you read this, keep in mind she enjoys messing with our minds! (And it's not my fault, I swear. <g>)

Message # 79575.1

I think the most interesting answer you gave to any of the questions on Saturday was the one where you were talking about the psychology of the characters (sorry, I'm paraphrasing, because I've only watched this part of the live stream once) -- about how you like to sort of strip a character down to his basic nature and "see what he's made of" by seeing how he reacts. You've done this over and over again -- Jamie after Wentworth, Roger after the hanging, and so on. And so when I heard you say, "And I have no qualms about doing that", my instant reaction was (and I did say this out loud to the screen! <g>) "That's EXACTLY why I'm worried about what might happen in MOHB!" Because of the unpredictability of your plots, and your willingness to let horrific things happen to your characters. That's what makes these books such an emotional roller-coaster ride, especially on the first reading -- that feeling that absolutely anything might happen, that (just as in real life) there are no guarantees.

We have talked here before about writers "throwing rocks at their characters". I guess it's William's turn next.... <g>

Message # 79575.3
Dear Karen--

Oo. Just when I read this, a little ripple went up my spine, because I realized what the Necessary (Horrible) Thing was that had to happen to resolve (or, um, not, as the case may be...) a particular situation.

Just remember when you read it--it's All Your Fault. <g> (Not really; your comment just triggered a thought that was hanging there; it would have come to me sooner or later anyway.)
Message # 79575.8

Oh, no! What on earth did I say?? <laughing nervously>

Note to self:

1) Don't give her ideas! (Oops.)

2) Be careful what you wish for!

3) Fuirich agus chi thu. (Right. Like I'm going to be able to sleep peacefully tonight, knowing I inadvertently put some really devious idea in your head? Great. Thanks a lot. <wry g>)

You know I'm always glad to help, but I have a feeling I'm going to regret it, just this once!


P.S. to everybody else: It's not my fault, I swear it's not! <g>
Message # 79575.9
Dear Karen--

It's OK, don't worry. <g> Like I said, I would have figured it out eventually in any case; what you said just made a couple of waiting puzzle pieces snap together.
Message # 79575.11

Well, that's better. <g> I'm in favor of anything that helps you make progress toward finishing the book!

Naturally I have NO idea what she's planning, but I thought this exchange was too good not to share!


Pat Rice Talma said...

Thanks A LOT Karen. I realize that Diana says she would have figured out "whatever" anyway but now I'm quaking in my boots wondering what diabolical thing you've brought to the surface of her devious mind. You're right, she absolutely LOVES playing with all of our collective heads!!!!

Connie said...

Now my MOBY anxiety/anticipation is ramped up further!

BTW, thanks for your blog and all your efforts to support Diana and her fans.

Sarah said...

That's exactly what George RR Martin does. He totally messes with your mind and has no qualms about killing off a character. I think he does it to set up a situation for another character. It drives the story forward, often in unexpected ways. Diana doesn't even need to kill someone off. Lots of other unpleasant things can happen.

Anonymous said...

Great. Now I'm scared too. Oh please don't hurt Jamie and Claire anymore.

Frannie said...

You'll have to follow through with her after the book is published to find out exactly which bit she's talking about!

Unknown said...

KareN...Regardless of the story line, thanks for giving Diana that little nudge she needed, it has saved her some time not having to ponder the pieces to the puzzle- that is what friends are for after all!

karen yarnall pannell said...

The only reason I am calm and willing to wait for the book is knowing that as soon as I get it I'll have it read in no time. Then what? Left hanging for another five years? Hopefully not!

Unknown said...

Could the throwing rocks comment be the trigger? Is someone going to be stoned?

Debra E. Marvin said...

She likes to torture her characters :) and her readers! And we love it too.
I imagine it is just a wee bit tougher to focus on this book with so much distraction. Thanks for sharing this discussion. Summer is going to be something this year, eh?

Deborah said...

..........and this is what makes Diana such a gifted writer, she listens, and that alone is a true gift!

Laurie S said...

Gee Karen.It was truly inevitable.Yet I love living in ignorant bliss. #WaitTilMOBY
(That's why we need #PocketJamie to keep our minds occupied!)

Unknown said...

I have no doubt that DG's characters are causing havoc already. She has always said she puts them in a situation together and all hell can break out, especially with Claire, our very outspoken modern thinking lady. I:m just so happy they all got home to Fraisers Ridge in the end of book 8. I gave a funny feeling though that trouble is nor far away. Dies anyone think Brianna was followed back to the 18th century by some not very nice neighbors?

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