Why Anatomy of a Darkened Heart Doesn’t Have a Christmas Scene

Victorian Christmases are beautiful, full of tradition, and multi-faceted in celebration. In fact, many authors of both books and scripts would love to put a gorgeous Christmas scene into their book. So why isn’t there one in Anatomy of a Darkened Heart?

You’ll notice that I used the words “beautiful” and “gorgeous” to describe the way Victorian Christmases are 26813854depicted, and that’s one reason why it wouldn’t fit into AoDH. A holiday with such deep religious meaning could work well, but it could also be very forced. AoDH focuses heavily on psychological tension and manipulation, and including a Christmas scene would be just as difficult as including a birthday scene – neither would make much sense because they are celebrations of life. They are essentially the opposite of AoDH’s theme.

I thought about Christmas and birthday scenes, rethought, tried to write one, hated it, and threw it out. It just didn’t suit the book as a whole. One of the most important things a writer can do is double and triple check that every scene in the book is necessary, and a holiday or birthday scene just wasn’t. It was awkward, stilted, and even though I wanted to put it in, the book rejected it.

What is an author to do when the book and the characters within it say, “NO!” When you’re dealing with characters like Elizabeth and Abigail, you listen.

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7 comments on “Why Anatomy of a Darkened Heart Doesn’t Have a Christmas Scene

  1. raisingdaisy says:

    That’s so interesting to know what your reasons were for not including those celebratory scenes. I totally agree – if it doesn’t fit, don’t force it. I loved AoDH and I can definitely see where Christmas and birthday scenes would have gone against the grain.

  2. MM Jaye says:

    It makes so much sense, Christie! Festivities and a festive mood have no place in AoDH… But it does in our lives, so I wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year!

    • I’m glad you also agree, MMJaye! Thanks for weighing in, and a very Merry Christmas to you and your family as well! Have a Happy New Year. I’m already looking forward to that new piece you’re working on! 😉

  3. It can also be details that feel wrong. I agree that either of those scenes might have felt forced because with the ways things develop in the Whitestone household, a happy celebration seems as foreign as twerking competition in a war ridden state. There’s one scene I’ve been asked about more than once, which is actually a “carnal” scene. Originally it was much more detailed and completely inappropriate for the book, so I trimmed, suggested, shortened, and left the details to the reader, but I left the scene in. When asked why, I always enjoy asking people if they’ve read Dracula or watched the movie and pointing to the brides. I remember reading/watching that scene and thinking it a bit unnecessary but as a teen, well of course I approved. But still, it’s a sort of joke on Stoker’s novel while giving a nod as well, while allowing the “brides” to have their way since that in itself is a commentary on who, what, and how the Corsaires are. I have some very interesting friends in my life, and yes that includes adventurous people with adventurous stories… that scene is also a hello to them 😀

    In the case of Anatomy, every scene is seamless, which is a Victorian way of having assembled a perfect story, with amazing balance. Kudos and can’t wait for Locke and Key 😀

    • “Twerking in a war ridden state” is now my favorite metaphorical comparison 😄 Yes, the details can also be what’s wrong, and sometimes you really need to stop and analyze why something isn’t coming out right/suiting the piece. In this case it didn’t take much for me to know there was simply nothing new to be revealed by a Christmas scene, and as a reader of my book (and fellow author) I’m so glad to hear you agree! Now that I’m reading your book, I’ll keep my eye out for that and remember what you said about that/those scene(s). Also, thanks, I can’t wait to publish Locke and Keye in fall 2016! 😀

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