Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Writer = Crazy. But that's okay.

There are moments, when writing, that make you seem like a completely crazy person.

You find yourself talking about your characters like they are real, and they ARE, at least to you. You grow attached to them, don't want bad things to happen to them, and are sad when their lives are not going well.

You might have your coworkers looking at you like you need to be medicated (Like I was for a while today, myself...). You might have to defend your obsession with word count, or find yourself talking about the book too much. Or lament things you have to do to your characters, like I was doing today.

Why lament?  Well, I have to do a terrible thing today, and most people do not understand. I'm 23,000 words into my current book, and I am struggling with moving from beginning to middle. The character I was trying to push over the edge just wouldn't *break*.

Last night, it hit me. I know what I need to do. But I don't want to. It's horrible. And sad. But I have to do it. The father needs to break, emotionally, and leave his family. Depression isn't doing it. So...

I have to kill his 5 year old girl. She is sweet, and kind, has bad dreams about monsters. She still mispronounces marshmallows, loves snuggling on the couch to read books, and carrying the cat around like a baby. And she has to die, or he will never leave. And the story will not work unless he leaves.

*steels self to head out for a writing gathering (a NaNoWriMo local write in) at a small bookstore, and kill off a lovable character while crying in public*

But it's okay. We writers understand. These feelings are valid, and it's difficult to do these things.

Just remind yourself. If you are this attached to the characters, if you cry while you write the horrible things in their lives, if you bleed on the page, it will come through in the writing. Your readers, later, will thank you for it. Because it will be real. It will make them feel something too. And that, my friends, is the mark of a great book.

Be strong!!

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