Welcome back folks, as I write this the weather outside is rather frightful, but it provides interesting mood to say the least. This #SensualSunday post is all about emotions. That we use in our writing, and those that effect our writing.
Let’s be honest – authors can be rather emotional. We are invested in our characters, their story, their happiness, what’s going on around them, and so much more. This is not a bad thing by a long shot, but not today’s focus. Nope, today’s focus is on what an author feels and how it can change their story.
I personally can happily admit that when I’ve had a bad day, been in a piss poor mood, and/or been ready to do bodily harm – I have sat down at my computer to either write a scene in a current WIP, or opened up a new doc to write out my mood. I have several docs in a special folder titled, I kid you not, my Kill Folder. Yup. I actually have a folder saved with all the dismemberment’s, murder’s, and various other brutal endings to folks lives tucked away on my computer. Some scenes, with tweaks to fit in better, have made it into my WIP’s while others may well rot inside that folder.
For an author our writing is an outlet for all our emotional baggage. If we sad, angry, joyful, annoyed, or feeling blue we have the perfect place to put it all – in our writing. But there are two sides to this story. While being in an emotionally charged place can help in writing a specific scene (angry – killing off a character, sad – characters saying their goodbyes, etc.) we do need to take care not to try writing a scene in our MS that doesn’t fit our current mood.
A prime example – you just received some bad news, your emotions are all over the map, you’re crying, ranting, not in a great place. Why the hell are you trying to force yourself to write a sex scene? Not to say there are not authors out there who can’t take negative emotions and channel them into something different, but most of us are not wired in that manner. And your readers will notice that the scene that should be happy, or sexually charged feels off or even awkward, like you were forcing yourself to write something you weren’t emotionally into. So don’t. If you’re not feeling the mood of where your WIP is – write something else. Go onto a different scene that better suits where you are in the moment, or like I do, start a folder to let out everything in a non-destructive (in reality) manner.
Not only will your characters, and story thank you but so will your editor and your readers. In the end you too will be much happier with how the story turned out, which is a great feeling and one we all strive to achieve. “Write what you know” isn’t merely about jobs or places, people or situations, it’s also about the emotions we feel or don’t in any given situation.
Moral of today’s post – Don’t force that which you’re not feeling.
XO Moira Callahan