1. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,837
    Likes Received:
    10,015
    Location:
    Puerto Rico

    Do you ever use your emotive "now" with which to write?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Wreybies, Apr 2, 2014.

    I'll keep it short.

    I'm pissed as all get-out right now at my husband because three times tonight I have been blamed for not doing three different somethings that weren't mine to do.

    I am so :mad:!

    And yet I feel like this is good direction for one of my characters, Victoria, who has been a pretty empty puppet so far.
     
  2. Michael Collins
    Offline

    Michael Collins Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    76
    Location:
    Rome, Italy.
    I usually go on emotional writing rants, but I delete the whole thing the following day.

    (off topic: what happened to your Ganesh avatar? I liked that guy.)
     
  3. FrankieWuh
    Offline

    FrankieWuh Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    Deepest Darkest UK
    I don't mind the use of "now" but it can royally mess up the tense you're writing in. It depends on a few things really (things the quote above doesn't answer): what tense is the story written from, and is this an isolated case of POV? I can't see it being a problem at all if you are using first person present tense, or even third. Third person past tense may work depending on whether as the narrator we're in the head of the character, as in ending the sentence, "she thought,", or using italics to differentiate a thought by the character from the omniscient narrator.
    You can do it without this, but that can confuse your reader as to who is saying what, and when, and there's no greater crime than forcing your reader to re-read a section cos you've confused the hell out of them.

    As for the emotive part, "now" is okay, but really it's the context that gives the effect, not the word itself, I reckon. In the above example it would probably work just as well without the "now".
     
  4. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    When I have an emotional 'now' I tend to write poetry. It always surprises me how good it turns out, considering I can't write poetry for shit when I'm not 'now'-ing. Other times I'll write a non-fictional opinion piece, dissect something thats's been pissing me off or that just caught my eye. But I find such emotional states don't translate too well into my novel prose.
     
    sunsplash likes this.
  5. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Several years ago, I was invited by an old friend to join a band he'd had going on and off for decades. Their old drummer had left in a major huff, and by all accounts they were glad to be rid of him. They got together every few weeks, always on a Friday night. No one was looking to do lots of gigs. For me, just emerging from 20 years of not playing, it was a Godsend. We played for about a year, and I found (among other things) that I really could sing and play drums at the same time. Then we went a stretch without getting together, and finally I e-mailed the other guys and asked when our next session might be. My "friend" replied, "Oh. I meant to call you." Turns out their old drummer had an opportunity for a few gigs and one guitarist and I were out.

    I was furious; hurt; stunned; cheesed off. After several days, I decided on a therapy - I'd write a novel about a group of middle-aged musicians. Sort of a Commitments for the pre-retirement set. Once I started writing, of course, the characters evolved and what resulted was quite different from how I'd imagined it. As therapy, it was great, but when I finished the first draft I realized that as a novel, it really left a lot to be desired. So I went back and ripped about half of it and started again, but I finally put it aside to work on other things.
     
  6. FrankieWuh
    Offline

    FrankieWuh Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    Deepest Darkest UK
    Actually, now I'm really confused, having looked at other's replies here! o_O

    Do you mean the emotional use of the word "now" in your writing, or how you are right now in your life? If the above aint a quote please ignore previous reply).

    If you're using the "now" as in how you are feeling, isn't that "write from what you know"? I always do that, throwing down onto paper my anxieties, frustrations, euphoria etc. As writers we turn what we know into what we can use, carefully trimming the excess to fit the character and story. Like every experience, use it to fit the story rather than fit the story around the experience and you should be okay.:)

    (And forgive the excess use of smileys ... It's one of those days)
     
  7. mg357
    Offline

    mg357 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    368
    Likes Received:
    33
    I am not sure if this helps or not but when I get pissed off I general sit down and write and doing that that lets me get my pissed off feelings out of my system.
     
  8. Thomas Kitchen
    Offline

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    Snap! :D

    Also, sorry to hear you're angry, @Wreybies, and I hope you feel better soon. :)
     
  9. obsidian_cicatrix
    Offline

    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,711
    Likes Received:
    1,453
    Location:
    Belfast, Northern Ireland
    If I'm picking you up correctly, I do.

    My bipolar ups and downs mean that, if I'm not very careful, my writing can lack consistency of tone. No matter how strong my urge to write, at any given time, I need to consider my mood.

    If I'm running a bit manic, there's little use in me sitting writing up a scene where my two protags are having a deep and meaningful. I'll go at it bull at a gate. The rhythm of speech will be all wrong. I now know in advance it'll not have the pace I'm wanting, however, if I flip forward a few chapters to the action scene that was giving me trouble when in more depressed state of mind, that can work a treat as the escalating tension is reflected in the pace.

    Although, it can be annoying having a great idea that I'm unable, at that time, to work on, I've learned to appreciate that these shifts of focus can have their benefits too.

    So, yeah... I'd definitely use that emotional feeling to it's best advantage. It's interesting that you are seeing parallels between the situation and how you might go on to flesh out Victoria a bit more to your satisfaction. Go with your gut. I doubt you are making this connection for no good reason. :)
     
  10. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,837
    Likes Received:
    10,015
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    You've picked me up correctly indeed. :)

    I'm not grrrrring this morning and everything was smoothed out last night, so all is well. ;) But, as I was in my little snit (and I snit with aplomb) I had popped open my laptop as my don't talk to me shield, wrote this thread, and then went to Victoria. My issue with writing her right now is that I know what she's doing and why she's doing it in this, her first fleshed out scene: keeping tabs on the market stalls and sellers to whom Carl has sold his catch, who sells well, who's frugal, who's a softy and gives "friend prices" and all of this (her memory is eidetic) goes back to Carl so he knows how to price to the individual sellers, who to give a good rate, the best stock, who to cut off. She even buys red talimas (a narcotic crustacean, the illicitness of which I haven't decided yet). I know all of this, but I was having trouble finding her emotive "now", what's she thinking and feeling as she's doing this. She's coming up kinda' flat affect. The scene sets up the coming together and interaction of two major groups of players, but it also sets up her relationship with Carl. Carl is a person with a blunt and loud personality, his actions are large and without a great deal of finesse. His talent, similar to his sister's, is knowing how to line up the right players on his team to carry out the finessing bits. Victoria is one of those players.
     
  11. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,837
    Likes Received:
    10,015
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I change avatars often, but they always have Ganesh in them. Look more closely at the modified Scrivener logo. ;)
     
    sunsplash and Michael Collins like this.
  12. Michael Collins
    Offline

    Michael Collins Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    76
    Location:
    Rome, Italy.
    I noticed the yin-yang, but didn't see the proboscis.

    Nice job!
     
  13. obsidian_cicatrix
    Offline

    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,711
    Likes Received:
    1,453
    Location:
    Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Nope, me neither and I just got new lenses.

    @Wreybies. The only question I find myself asking right now, is what exactly is Victoria's personal stake? You speak of her in relation to what she can do for Carl. What's in it for her?
     
  14. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,837
    Likes Received:
    10,015
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Just so everyone knows, that avatar is actually Jack Asher's creation. A wee gift from him out of the blue yesterday. :) I thought it was just too bloody clever! :)

    That's the bit I don't know and probably why she's emotionless for me at the moment. Is she just Carl's employee in this little GoT (I hate how spot on that parallel feels) or is she his lover? Is she weak and controlled, or is she just of low station and climbing? Is Carl a means to an end, or the end of her means? I don't know. :(
     
    obsidian_cicatrix likes this.
  15. obsidian_cicatrix
    Offline

    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,711
    Likes Received:
    1,453
    Location:
    Belfast, Northern Ireland
    I see... well, in that case, it's not a bit of wonder you're finding her a little bit flat. Once her motivations become apparent to you that should sort itself out.

    I wouldn't worry about the GoT parallel... I think the same when it comes to my two primary locations as I'm using something of a hot/cold motif, too. Martin does not have a monopoly on conflict, social climbing and the weather. ;)
     
    Wreybies likes this.
  16. Garball
    Offline

    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,846
    Likes Received:
    1,331
    Location:
    S'port, LA
    I find that when I write in a highly emotive state, I get all the flames on the paper but never capture the essence of the combustion, the actual reason why the flames are there. What is it that makes the character act the way they do?
     
  17. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,564
    Likes Received:
    3,561
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    I've done it once, and I didn't much like the results, though it probably has less to do with writing during the emotive now and more with my writing skills :p

    I tend to plan ahead, perhaps for the very reason @Garball pointed out above. Would it really be the character, or is it just me? That kind of thing.

    I can see the benefits there, though. Drawing from your actual feelings, seeing how they become words, and possibly ending up with something really damn authentic. Kind of like instead of acting the feeling on stage, you feel the feeling.
     
  18. Jack Asher
    Offline

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,571
    Likes Received:
    2,053
    Location:
    Denver
    Or constancy in mood, or consistency in plot, character relations, voice, spelling and story.

    Once when I was manic I went on a writing binge. After I came down and read what I had done I realized I had added a never before seen character into the middle of a conversation between two other. There was no explanation of who this person was, or how they had got there.

    I honestly had no idea what I was thinking.

    I still write when I'm manic, but I do so with the understanding that I might have to throw it all out.
     
    obsidian_cicatrix likes this.
  19. obsidian_cicatrix
    Offline

    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,711
    Likes Received:
    1,453
    Location:
    Belfast, Northern Ireland

    Oh, yeah... been there. :D

    I've never done the 'never before seen' character thing but I have had characters talking about plot points that hadn't even happened yet... oooops! On a manic binge I'd say about 80% ends up getting chucked but occasionally I do write something that can salvaged with a little effort on my part... it's not an ideal way to go about it, but beggars can't afford to be choosers.
     
  20. Bryan Romer
    Offline

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    381
    When I write I place myself in the plot and in the character's shoes, so I never allow my RL state of mind to affect the writing. I try to feel what my character is feeling. Sort of method acting, um, writing.

    I'm normally a pretty emotionless person anyway. If there is a problem I fix it. If it can't be fixed, then there is no point in getting worked up about it.
     
  21. Mans
    Offline

    Mans Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    193
    Location:
    Iran
    Werybies, as long as your avatar changed, I lost you. I often can't imagine, you are the same Werybies. Because I usually remember the members by their avatar
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  22. Moneica
    Offline

    Moneica Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I don't write when I'm mad, cause I know when I calm down I'll trash everything I just done. But on the other hand, I scream a lot when I'm mad.:D
     

Share This Page