Missed Moments


Brianne Leber

The third and final book in the All For The Games series by Nora Sakavic and my personal favorite.

Brianne Leber, Journalist

For every lover of fiction, I would like to think, there is a moment the reader is still livid with the author. Missed moments happen in literature much like they happen in life. Characters that never met, arcs (advanced readers copies) never completed, words never spoken, miscommunications never resolved are all moments that readers just wish went differently.

When I have tried explain this feeling of sadness to others in casual conversation, they often mistake my wishes for critiques of the author. I want to make clear that this is not a debate on whether or not a missed moments should or should not have happened. It is not me believing a story would be better if these wishes were met. It is only a statement of want. We want these things to happen to have the satisfaction of seeing it, reading it, experiencing it.

My personal missed moment takes place is in Nora Sakavic’s young adult series of novels, All for the Games. Every time I reread the series, my internal voice screams at the twin characters to thank their cousin, Nicky, for giving the twins a home even when Nicky had to leave his life behind in the process. Last week, while complaining to some friends I stated, “thank him, you cowards!” which proceeded to become a new inside joke in the group. No matter how many time I remind myself this show of gratitude is against the twin’s characterization, I cant stop thinking of this pertermission.

Brianne Leber
Notes I wrote on the fiction game, Exy, that was created for this series by Nora Sakavic. (Yes I am aware how nerdy that sounds)

Often times, at least for young adult series, these moments are explored in fan fiction. Writers spend time diving into what they think would happen, answering fic requests, and even creating alternate universes fleshing out who the characters would be in this world or the next. There is so much fanfiction that there are tumblr’s dedicated to cataloging and helping others find favorite fics.

Kenna Millspaugh, an english teacher at Santiago and a family friend, told me that she loves when “people get so wrapped up in a story…that they want to change or move…it to match their own vision of that ‘world.'” She continued by saying that “fan fiction is the perfect place to take an existing world and play with it.” She even added how “it is a fun way to express your creativity without having to build a world totally from scratch.”

One of my interview questions was whether or not the interviewee would sacrifice the message of a work or the plot to see their missed moment occur. Sadly for me, at least with Nicky, I couldn’t justify doing a complete 180 with the twins personalities regardless of how hard I fought.

My friend, Hazel Lloyd, while discussing my article, told me to “remain on track” after I went on a wild tangent about whether or not a character would be more beneficial alive or dead. She reminded me how my “main goal was not changing or rewriting the story” but expressing the feeling these missed moments evoke.

Overall, this article has no real theme or conclusion. I wanted to share and explain the overwhelming desire for bookish satisfaction. These missed moments tended to draw me back repeatedly to reread or rant about the work. It leads me to debate the usefulness or complete incapability of including these moments. It makes me wonder if that is the whole point of reader dissatisfaction. It also makes me thank whatever genius invented fanfiction.