Debbie Kahl – YA & Children's Fiction Writer

{June 13, 2010}   Everything happens for a reason….

I’ve been told numerous times by a multitude of different people that ‘everything happens for a reason’. The sad thing is, I never really believed it until I got older. And it is very important to understand this as a writer. Every writer, whether they will admit it or not, has undergone some turmoil in their life. And it is this turmoil that is often the catalyst for their first novel. I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve heard other writer’s say the first character they’ve killed off is their ex/school bully/ boss etc – or they become the antagonist in the story, a character who must be defeated at all costs.

Whatever the reason, even if you’re not a writer, I think it’s important for you understand how writing can be a carthartic tool, even if no-one else ever sees your work. You’ll know in your heart that the demise you’ve created is so much more fitting than the one they’ll ever experience in reality!  And this makes the sadness/turmoil/tension so much easier to deal with. Just a suggestion for you if you’re in that place….

Why am I telling you this? Well… this is particularly relevant to me as I’m plotting out my adult novel. Does my character suffer a fate worse than death? Does he die? Do I make him a comatose vegetable? Or does it end happily? So many choices, so little words! I think I’ll let the idea simmer some more & go back to work on the YA stuff, where bullies and bitchiness reign supreme! But before I go, I’ll leave you with some words of advice from Louisa May Alcott (author of Little Women). She once said, ‘Painful as it may be, a significant emotional event can be the catalyst for choosing a direction that serves us – and those around us – more effectively. Look for the learning.’ I know a series of events helped me choose a happier path – this path of writing, and I’m all the better for it! I hope you are too!

Have a great week everyone & good luck with all your projects. ‘Til next time! x


Love your thoughts on this topic, Debbie. I have to agree with you. As writers, as we discussed over coffee the other day, we have all undergone some emotional trauma to bring us to this point. And, yes, writing is a very cathartic tool for bringing about a calm in our lives. Hope your creative juices keep flowing, you’re adult novel ideas sound fantastic!

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