1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Emotions and Writing

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by GuardianWynn, Mar 14, 2016.

    I really could use some advice or more just opinions. Mainly because on a logical level I find what I am about to say silly, and not worth creating a thread about. Yet it is nagging at me. So I figured you guys would be able to help me.

    Last night, I was writing a scene, and I got really emotional. I have always sort of channeled a POV characters emotions. I can feel my stomach tighten or my hands clench when I they are angry. I can even begin to feel scared and nervous with them, to the point of shaking in a manner not unlike shivering. Once, I feel felt such sorrow through them that I cried so hard I found that I couldn't keep my eyes open through the intense weeping. I had to stop and let the feeling die down a little before I could continue writing. Which was a loop for that scene. 10 min on to write, ten min off to left the tears slow down. While that kind of intense feeling has only happened once, it is not the first time I have cried writing a scene.

    So I guess, my question is this. Am I weird? Is this a problem. Sorry, last night's POV I think put me into a bad place. I will have to be careful with her in the future. I am feeling like this is weird or not normal.

    Thank you for listening
     
  2. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    Writing, like all art, in my opinion, is a powerful cathartic release. I have certainly cried while writing scenes and dialogue (and again later when rereading to edit). Our characters often express and/or live out our own emotions, history, failures, wishes, conflicts, etc. To me, writing fiction without emotion would be rather bland--and odds are the reader feels the intensity of the emotion that goes into the writing. I have awakened from a deep sleep agitated with the vivid conflict and emotion my MC is currently facing. Write on!
     
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  3. KokoN
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    KokoN Active Member

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    Maybe it's not "normal" but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you. The only reason you would need to be concerned is if it is interfering with your life or causing you or anyone else harm. If it's not, then it's just a character trait of yours that is part of what makes you who you are, and different from everyone else. Probably your writing is unique and especially powerful because of this. So don't be worried just because your writing style is different. :)
     
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  4. Jeni
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    Jeni Member

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    I think it is perfectly normal to feel the emotions that one of your characters feels. Many pieces of writing are based on the emotions of the writer. Characters form and bend based upon what you feel. Writers have a lot of depth , most of us anyways. Creative people usually feel things at a deeper level so it makes sense that you would feel what you are writing. It also goes to say that any emotional upset in your life could affect your writing. One of my greatest flaws as a artist, writing and otherwise, is that the littlest things affect how and when I write. If I am in a mood, I might write like a mad man or I might shun my work completely. As long as you are not having adverse effects in your real life, feel away! It can't hurt.
     
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  5. Jeff Countryman
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    Jeff Countryman Living the dream Supporter

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    It is weird and it is a problem. Research the same and you'll see.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not weird. It may be a stronger reaction than is usual, but it's not weird or bad or anything to worry about.

    If you perceive it as a problem, maybe because you find it painful or it stalls your writing or some other reason, I can think of various theoretical ways to reduce it. But it's fine.

    Come to think of it, there's the opening scene of Romancing the Stone. An author is crying her eyes out writing the end of her latest novel, and then hunts all over her apartment to find tissues. It becomes clear that she's cried so much while writing that everything (tissues, paper towels, toilet paper) appropriate for crying into is used up.
     
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  7. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am not sure any of my characters have ever bent to my emotions. lol. At least that I am aware of. If I am feeling a certain powerful emotion, I am more drawn to the characters that match it. Rather than shift my character. And yeah, I think we all lose the muse at times.

    Thank you for the support. :)

    Also it definitetly effects my life. Like that one night I was crying all night writing. Every could see the red on my face the next day and I felt very light that day. By which I meant I felt like a feather that could be blown over at the lightest push. Yet I don't remember thinking it was a bad thing. Even last night. While, it wasn't as good of a feeling, I don't think the feeling really was that bad. I think I got worried that I am just weird.

    I am not sure what you are trying to say. Please elaborate.

    I actually really like it. It is hard to describe, but in those moments. I almost like forget who I am. Like the crying moment was when I wrote a funeral scene. I think, in that night, there was a moment, when I closed my eyes while weeping, that I was there. Well, obviously there is not a real place but I mean like, it felt so real, the emotions felt right. My eyes were shut so I wasn't seeing real life and for a moment. I forgot who I was, for that one second I was my character. Gosh, now I must sound like a lunatic. lol
     
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  8. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I used to only get sad occasionally at fiction, and not always in the instances you'd expect (Toy Story 2 with the cowboy girls backstory made me cry more than many death scenes.) But now I can make myself shed tears by thinking about ruining the story of any of my m/m couples. I find the thing is it happens when I'm really intensely imagining their crying and I kind of make myself do the same. I think it's because around the time it first happened I started a burst of self-awareness and stuff. A bit of a maturity bubble.
     
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  9. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    I agree with those who have said that it is definitely not "weird" to experience strong emotions while writing a scene. In fact, I think it is quite normal, and, as I mentioned above, I have experienced this myself many times. For me this has occurred while writing about loss or my character's most intimate relationship conflicts (for example, father/son).

    Now that being said, all of us may be susceptible to bouts of depression of various severities. Being sad for a day or a few days is not depression, but being sad all or most of every day for a prolonged period, especially accompanied by other symptoms, like difficulty sleeping, poor appetite (or excessive appetite), poor concentration, irritability, etc. (you can look up symptom lists on line--try WebMD.com, for example). You did mention being up all night writing--that in itself might exacerbate tearfulness simply related to sleep deprivation.

    My point would be that although it is not weird at all, if it is recurrent or interfering with work, school, relationships, etc. It could be depression--which, btw, in most cases is the most treatable of all psychological conditions. If it is episodic and related to the content of your material, then I would say again, as I said above, write on! Be aware that we can get obsessed with or preoccupied with even good things. If you are writing obsessively and don't stop for self-care (eating, sleeping, socializing, exercise) maybe the tail is wagging the dog and some re-balance is in order. (I worked as a mental health provider (psychotherapist) for 37 years.)
     
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  10. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, I should probably give context to the up all night thing. I work third shift. So I was at work. My job is very relaxed, so I can write at work. That is usually the cycle. Write at work, get home, sleep, edit, visit forum, take nap if able, work. Oh my eating habits are fine. I am probably a bit fat to be honest.

    The crying all night thing was just once, in response to one scene. Though I have cried to other scenes. And it isn't just sadness. It is empathy. In the recent one, I felt her fear and anxiety because that is what I was writing.

    But you are right. It isn't hurting anything and it probably is helping my writing. I just got self conscious that it was a bad thing. Dos that make sense?

    Thank for your help. :)

    Oh, on the note of being a psychotherapist. Could I PM you about a situation. I really need an outside preferrable knowledgable opinion of a reaction for a character. :)

    And yeah, sometimes the emotions are good. When I have a good scene with a happy character. I can feel that too. Though to be fair, before I am misleading. I am not a sponge. Not everytime I write do I get lost and soak of there feelings. Just certain times. Like one time, a girl of mine who lost her son. She was screaming in rage. I wanted to go out side and scream for her. I just so badly wanted to hear the sensation of that release. Or another time, a girl was in space looking at the stars. I remember feeling so light and fluffy then. Oh god. Getting back into weird territory, aren't I?
     
  11. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    It is not weird to get emotional about an event you have written, you were in the moment. Not going to lie, when one of my characters technically killed an old girlfriend. I cried, because they were still kinda close. This just proves my characters are tougher than I, seeing the character that did it didn't shed a tear. They felt bad, but kept on being a professional. Also a short friendly chat helped ease their mind.

    Funny that I have never read too many stories in general that evoke any kind of emotional response. With the exception of Bet Me, that book pissed me off to no end. Not going to go into that bag of cats, considering it is done with.

    Anywho, I think it is ok to be caught up in the moment while writing. I get a rush writing action sequences, and next thing I know 2-3 hours have passed. :p
     
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  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's not weird at all. I'm more likely to experience sadness than anger when I'm writing a respective scene. And give me a glass of wine and I've teared up. I think it's a good thing. I want the reader to experience the book viscerally as well and if I do, that's a good sign they might.
     
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