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.