getting around to it

I generally write in a linear fashion.  I see many talented writers skip around in writing their novel–a little bit of this section, then that section, then  back to this section, etc.  But that’s not my process.  Sometimes I’ll skip a little ahead but only if I’ve written a “placemarker” synopsis of what I INTEND to write in the few pages in between.  In this way, I keep to a linear process.

Coming back to those placemarkers can be challenging.  Often I’ll skip scenes because I’m just not in That Place to write them: either I’m not in the mood, or they intimidate me.  “I’ll write that later,” I say, and move on.

Today I wrote a painful scene.  It was slow going, but I wrote it down.  My word count isn’t so high (hovering close to 1,000 words today), but I give myself bonus points for writing what I’ve been avoiding for months.  I had to really, really hurt my main character.
I killed a character today–a very very minor character, but it pained my main character VERY much to see this person die.  In fact, it becomes one of his deepest wounds.  I was surprised to find myself crying as I pushed through the last paragraphs of that scene.  I felt so sad and relieved.  Sad, because the character, in his few moments of life, really touched me.  Sad, because I made my main character sad.  Relieved because I finally wrote the freaking scene!

Of course–it was all nutty, because just a couple hours before, I was laughing my ass off and stifling the giggles.

I’m just feeling very permeable today.

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7 Comments

Filed under The Novel, Writing

7 responses to “getting around to it

  1. It sounds as if you need to be in a “permeable” way to be empathic enough to live through the scenes you are writing. I do not know if that occurs best in the morning or evening. I imagine it verys by person and whatever else is going on their life at the moment, right?

  2. Jade, I had a similar scene in my head, coming up in my NanoNovel. I had two days of major blockage because I was terrified to “go there.” I still haven’t written the scene, but I know when I do it will be very cathartic. Congratulations on your “permeability” – I think it makes the most powerful writing.

    No tears for the writer, no tears for the reader.

  3. Was it a gruesome death? 😉

  4. Kimchihead: Excellent question–indeed it was! much of the painful part of writing it was that the character was tortured before he died. and that well, a little boy had to watch it.

    as I wrote it, I kept flashing back to the time I watched a man beheaded.

  5. You watched a man beheaded??? Shudder. Eek.

  6. Yes. One of the horrible beheadings that happened in Iraq and got aired all over the internet. It was terrifying and awful.

  7. I am sure it would have a traumatic impact on the little boy who had to watch it…a family member?

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