Emotional Writing

     In my book waiting to be published, “Be Still,” I mentioned before that I went through a hard day and added in two pages of my own personal emotions expressed through Travis Silver, the character.  I found that to be rather therapeutic, but also chalked it up to needing to express myself and nothing more.  So, today I will discuss how emotions play into writing, because, although I may not have noticed it before, it became a raging, blaring, red, flashing light this past weekend for me. 

     Let me start with something funny, or what I perceive as funny.  My son pointed out a shirt he wanted to buy me online which read, “don’t make me mad or I’ll kill you in my book.” We laughed so hard, because that has so much meaning in its hilarity.  I told my ex-husband the same thing once; he made me so upset thatI killed off the main character that night.  Of course it didn’t follow my story line so I revived the character the next day: No harm, no foul.  Do I have a cemetary of  “offed” characters? Abso-freaking-lutely.  W actually have a make shift small pet cemetary in my back yard: the turtle that died, a baby kitten that didn’t make it past the first few hours of life, a few finches, and a smaller red-eared glider turtle that had pneumonia.  Lots of popsicle stick crosses out back, but the roses sure do grow up nice and pretty.  So after many unfinished and finished stories, I realized I grew so close to my characters that I was going to have to start a memorial wall for the fallen hero’s and heroines of my imagination.  That’s how close they are to me, plus the fact that they lived inside my head for months.

     How does this come down to emotions and writing? I don’t know, I got off track.  Let me get back.  When I write I have to drown out the white noise around me, so I play my Itunes lists.  Usually, I listen to slow music on low volume which keeps me very zen and focused.  I tried writing to Metallica once … those poor baby bunnies never stood a chance in that chapter.  Two more popsicle crosses popped up in the backyard that night.  So for me to stay focused I must have certain things: peace, slow music, no outside distractions.  This is my harmony (homeostasis to us science nerds).  What I don’t need to is to be upset with my boyfriend, like I was this past Friday.

     Okay, so without giving details into my romantic life, let’s just say the boyfriend was, “wrong,” and I was, “right.” For the sake of the rest of my existence, lets just assume this will always be a permanent fact.  So, I came home and started pounding on the keyboard (writing with tenacity sonds better, yeah?), trying to build the back storyline of my character Ben, in the new book.  Now this is my hero, mind you.  He’s a good guy.  He survives the book, the zombie apocalypse, revelations, Dec 21, 2012…you throw it at him and Ben is a survivor.  He sings the Bionce song until the end of time.  Except for one thing… after being slightly miffed at my boyfriend, Benjamin ends up with a spork jabbed into his eye by the end of chapter two.  Yes, a spork (plastic spoon/fork combination).  Why a spork, you ask? So he can be stabbed with the pointy nubs of the fork part in the eye, but still have a spoon to actually scoop out the eyeball from it’s socket.  By the way, my very first genre of writing was scifi, horror.  It’s hard to break old habits, especially when writing under the influence of emotions.  That’s right, I am guilty of WUIE.

     Rest assured, the next day I revived Ben and his boo boo face and set things straight.  The moral of the story is, “don’t make me mad or i’ll kill you in my book.”  Happy writing people, and keep those emotions in check.

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4 responses to “Emotional Writing

  1. Oh, I LOVE this more than I can say–a much needed laugh today, as I imagine killing off a certain person in my writing. Yeah, boy! as they say down south!! Thanks, Tania–you are a true GEM! See you soon (I’ll be Baaack)

    • Thanks. I figured I couldn’t be the only one out there who killed off characters when upset. I’m just comfortable enough to admit to it. My son broke into laughter over the bunnies not lasting through death metal music. Thanks for following my blogs. I love your poems.

  2. I’m a overweight, ex-biker author who has to work myself up to writing emotional scenes in my stories. I have to say I get so involved that when the time comes to kill someone off, I feel the loss, even to a tear in my eye. However, I have to say that I try to lighten up my mind by often making the victims have traits of people who I know but don’t think anyone would make the connection to. So I like them (or not) but still have to gird my loins to finally do them in.
    In the novel I am doing the re-write to publication has many emotional, criminal, alcoholic and drug addled scenes. I confess, that for raw emotion the scenes I wrote while drinking were powerful. I DO NOT recommend this and it was early on in my journey as a writer. To be frank these same scenes took WAY too much work and rework to make it worthwhile. I did learn to spill my guts while 100% straight (OK maybe a glass of Rum or two).

    • I love your emotion and honesty. Too be quite frank, the book I am waiting to publish was written under duress of an impending divorce, child custody case, conflict with CPS, a criminal trial case, angst, depression, anxiety, loss of income, loss of trust in the CA judicial system, and at one point anger with God. Many friends asked me why I hadn’t turned into a stark, raving, totally sloshed lush. My response…I had a laptop, a story in my heart, and a lot of support. Writing is a huge thing that kept me from literally jumping off a ledge. We write what we feel, sometimes profound and sometimes plain sappy. There is one chapter in my book that I went in and added just before I sent it in for editing, in that chapter my character discovers the truth about his mother and father and becomes angry at God (this isn’t a religious book, but I think many people can relate). I added in these two pages the day my brother plead no contest to a crime he didn’t comitt because the trial was being pushed again and he was tired of fighting what we felt was a corrupt and unjust system. I cried for my brother and with my mother, and I came home and took all my frustrations out in print by way of my character. Two reviews have come back saying that was one of the best detailed scenes about loss that they have read. Sometimes our pain, our loss, our passion, and our dreams are best put on paper for the world to share. It was very therapeutic for me and nice to know that others could relate. I am not an alcoholic, never did drugs, and love 80’s music not rock n roll…but I grew up under the rule of alcoholics, around drugs, and raised by a hippie…as such, I still look forward to reading what you have to say. I’ll be watching out for you.

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