Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Storm

M Doty chatted with Austen, the SHS writer who had the difficult task of writing The Storm Part 1 and The Storm Part 2. Here’s what she had to say about these controversial episodes…

***Warning, this contains spoilers!***

Writer Fact: We chose to show Sara smiling in this image posted on Facebook because the writers knew it would be the last time we'd post her picture.

MD: Most people don’t realize is that the novel was written two years ago, before Sara was a major character. Even I didn’t realize how much fans would end up caring about Sara. As the writer who wrote most of Sara’s episodes, how did you feel writing about a character you knew would meet a tragic end?

A: It was really emotional for me! I personally really liked Sara as a character and identified with many of her struggles. In high school, I was a perfectionist and spent almost all of my time studying or playing tennis on the varsity team. Because I could relate to her struggles, writing for her became really important to me. I wanted to fill her life with experiences and love.

MD: The Storm Part 1 was a really dark episode, particularly the ending.

A: Yes, I really agonized over getting the ending to feel right. I didn’t want it to seem too scary, but in the end I wanted to do the best writing I could for Sara’s final moments. There was a lot of debate on the writing team about whether or not we should keep in the bonus scene. We talked about cutting it off right when the car crashes. But I felt that it was important to know what Sara was thinking about and that she was happy. It was still a really tough episode to write and to work on. I know at least one other writer on the team cried when she played The Storm Part 1.

MD: Is there anything you’d say to the fans who are upset that Sara died?

A: Just that I understand why they’re upset. This is a difficult subject and I know we’re deviating from how Surviving High School usually does things, but this is letting us tell a deeper, richer story. It definitely doesn’t mean that we’re going to be a lot darker or that we won’t still be a game people can play to have fun. We have stories like that coming up. I hope people will understand and keep playing as Surviving High School moves on to the next chapter.


  1. I thought you did everything really well. I never thought that I would see a character killed off but it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would.
    I love this game and look forward to every week. I'm interested to see what you guys come up with next.
    I'm sorry that some people are upset with you about Sara dying.
    Thank you for making such a fun clean game that is never-ending.
    <3 you guys!!!!!

  2. I know writing that scene was probably the hardest thing you've had to write. Kudos to you for doing it so well and bravely. Life isn't complete without tragedy. But hope springs eternal!

  3. No complaints here :) I thought "The Storm" was well written, poignant and had a lot of heart. Thank you for writing a great entry. I look forward to reading more SHS :)

  4. I've lost someone I cared about alot when I was 18, and although it was the hardest thing I went through, the real fact of it is that we all lose someone we care about at one point or another. It is sad that Sara is gone and we will never forget her, but I really think that the storyline has gotten real and alot of readers can relate with this kindof tragedy. As a loyal reader I commend you for the courage it took to write this. Thank you.