1. Mr. Galaxy
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    Mr. Galaxy Member

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    Painful Writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Mr. Galaxy, Dec 17, 2015.

    Serious question… do you ever find it difficult to write particular parts of a story? Not logistically, but have you ever finished writing a scene, sat back and it was only then that the gravity of that sense hit you?

    So here’s what happened, I like scribbling out all of my character’s backgrounds before I write them into the story. It helps me “get to know them” (is that weird?) anyway; I was writing up the background of a character and it ended super sad. It was the background for the “God of Sorrow and Mourning” so that totally makes sense for their story to be a tragic one. But as I finished the end of their background my gut turned. I reread the bio and I was crushed at what I just wrote, it made me really really sad, and it was my bloody story!

    I was so upset I spent the next two hours furiously writing up the “Goddess of Hope” just so I could feel better. I felt so bad about what I had done I had to bring it back somehow. Mind you it was nearly 0500 by this point and I was burning down the coffee.

    Has this ever happened to you? Or am I just a wierdo McWierdson?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I feel my character's pain and hope. If I've had a glass of wine sometimes tears come. I hope that's a good sign.

    Oh, and welcome to the forum. :)
     
  3. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Not happened to me but it sounds like you're on the right track :D If the story doesn't move even you, the author, then something is very wrong! When it hits you in the gut, that's a very good sign.

    I tend to feel the scene as I write it, so there have been times when I might tear up during the writing, though that's rare. The first time I had to get rid of a character (and I mean delete him from existence in the novel, rather than killing him in the story), I felt so bad for him (Luke) that I wrote a death scene for him where he got to profess his love and say goodbye to the girl who's meant for my MC. This was just a stand alone scene unrelated to the actual story. I cried doing that one, because he deserves the girl much more than my MC and he was so in love with her :(
     
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  4. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    Rowling cried when she killed Dumbledore :) I am not a touchy feely person but when I write it all comes out.
     
  5. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    A few people said this story means I have to turn in my "man card" as other people call it.

    But once while writing, I sobbed so hard, I could not keep my eyes open and had to stop because... I couldn't see! That scene took forever to right since well... constant breaks. lol. Not only that, revied the scene 2 days ago(8 months after the fact) and it still got me to cry.
     
  6. datahound2u
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    datahound2u Member

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    Years ago I wrote a story where the MC comes home and finds his beloved companion - his dog - lying dead. It was just the dog's time, there was no evil play or violence. Since I loosely based that scene on my personal experiences, I constantly welled up while I was writing it. I'm not sure if anyone else would cry over it, though.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Well, for me it's not so much sobbing but complete horror.

    In my fantasy, I've managed to build a world so bleak, so dogmatic, so...dystopian in its political and social climate and laws that doing the right thing, the moral thing is borderline impossible especially if you're in a position of power to do that right thing.

    Let me put up a hypothetical scenario. Let's say one of my characters from the nobility wishes to adopt a child, and that child happens to be from a class/group that his own considers undesirable. To adopt that child would bring scandal and controversy, blacken his family name and reputation. He actually sat down and realized with the same dawning horror I did that the only alternative he could think of is to effectively bind her into serfdom on his land. Legally, politically, and socially she'd be a serf. To him? The closest he can actually get to adopting her as his own child and keep his family name clean. And she's well aware of the whole thing.

    Just...just...horrified at this world I created. o_O But perhaps @Mckk is right. If the story manages to give you a swift emotional punch to the gut, then you're going somewhere. Guess it's just one of those things where you have to hoist up your little britches and slog on through the emotional torment you are unleashing on yourself and your characters.
     
  8. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, I know this all too well. Mind you, I am pretty good in deceiving myself so sometimes the only indication of the horror I have of writing a scene down the line is the time I take for the previous ones - which takes longer and longer before I have to start in. Of course that sometimes backfires too, then I have to write this specific scene just to get it out of my system :(

    When it gets to the point that I get goosebumps or start laughing it actually means two things: That there is a whole lot of horror (for the part of me that shares with the MC) living side by side with joy (for the writer in me).

    reason for edit: just about now I find myself almost literally unable to place handwritten words on paper to outline the next chapter (and I mean only the most casual descriptions in as few words as possible). My hands don't want to move and my brain doesn't want to think.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015
  9. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's definitely a sign that you're on the right track. The real test is if you can evoke the same reaction in your readers, who don't have all the same images in their heads or background knowledge you do. If you can do that, then you've done your job as a writer!
     
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  10. Robert Musil
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    Robert Musil Contributing Member

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    I was honestly surprised at how hard it was the first time I wrote a character's death. He was a pretty minor character too, not anyone I was real attached to.

    In fact, there was an earlier scene where a couple of totally random, anonymous soldiers got killed, and even that was hard for me to do.

    It was surprising because I'm normally pretty heartless, but yeah. It's weird how affecting it can be.
     
  11. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I have a couple of times. Both were the deaths of minor characters with short roles. One was attached to one of the main characters, and the other was more or less a scorned experiment. Though this MC does crack jokes at the most in opportune times, either verbally or mentally. Like taking out a small squad of enemies by rupturing a napalm tank of one of the group. Mentally saying 'Hell of a barbeque!', as he walks out of the area as they burn. But for as ruthless as he is, his human side slips through from time to time, showing that he is not just a cold killer.

    So yeah I have written a few 'scenes' that have brought tears, or feelings of sadness for some of my characters. As well as a speckling of humor, despite the overall theme and tone of the story. :p
     
  12. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    A few scenes got me to cry and one part actually made me physically sick and messed me up for about two weeks, the supposed happy aftermath was also incredibly disturbing. Unlike where most characters suffer or are killed, the heroine rose up to the climatic battle and achieved a moment of victory only to be betrayed, stabbed and tortured to the point that she wished for death. This went even further to the point of wishing for oblivion (since gods can resurrect) and then it was decided to rape her to "close the ring" in a sense. Literally written to happy music with "Ode to Joy" as the betrayal and salvation of the act (it is complicated) resulted in the release of a truely demonic being who exacts vengeance by trapping everyone in personal hells where they are mutilated, tormented and punished as a game. Some of the imagery gets a little dark, such as cutting out the other heroine's unborn baby and letting her hold it only to have it liquidify into a mass of blood and gore. The mad jailer toying and teasing with forgiveness until reality and time itself have no concept before finally coming to understand herself. The end result leads to 200 pages of a comatose heroine who is impregnated by her enemy, her reason for existing in a vegetative state is for the unborn child which will ultimately end her life. Her personal reason being that the child is innocent and deserves to live despite the circumstances of how it came into existence.

    Do not worry it is only 270k words, it gets happier after that. I promise.
     
  13. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    I discovery write my stories, so there are times where the story takes me to an unexpected turn, and I just get shattered. The ending to my current novel did that to me.
     
  14. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    I empathize with my characters, especially my lead and therefore I do feel sadness to an extent when they do however it not like its my sadness so I'm still disconnected in a way. Its hard to explain. I also haven't written and extremely disturbing scenes at this point so we will have to see.
     
  15. Morgan Stelbas
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    Morgan Stelbas Active Member

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    I don't think it's weird at all. In fact, your process of writing out the background of your characters is a really good process for many people. I have done the same thing, and I like it because sometimes when I haven't gone back to my story in a few days, I go back to my story outline (which includes the background of my characters) and it helps me get back into the mindset of my story.

    Also, while I'm in the mindset of the story, that includes sharing in the emotions of my characters. Sometimes I can write them being emotional, and I will find my own face is frowning with them. In more intense scenes, like the death of a character, my tears do come.

    I agree with many others, if you're emotionally involved, it means you are on the right track and it's a good possibility that your writing will evoke similar emotions in your readers. At least I hope the same is true of my own writing. :bigconfused:
     
  16. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah I've definitely gotten emotional over characters - I have one that really yanks at my heartstrings because aspects of her storyline are so tragic and the funny thing is she isn't even my MC. But you never know what's going to hit you.
     
  17. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    I will be really sad when the book is finished, like last draft, ready for publishing done. I also get sad at the end of books that I really enjoy.
     
  18. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    Yes it has happened for me. Particularly during the scene I wrote where I killed off my protag. It upset me quite heavily and I felt the reaction for days.

    It also made me wonder if the reader would have a similar reaction to that scene. Someday if it's printed maybe I can find out. ;)
     
  19. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    I am nearing the end of my book. These last 16,000 words are very fast paced especially when you consider that the last 4,500 words will be more of a wrap up. I am getting sad and anxious in a way. I still have more drafts to work on aft this but to be done with the first is kind of overwhelming. My character will be going through a lot in these last few chapters and I'm scared yet happy for him because even though its not exactly what he had been planning for, he is going to be at peace with the way things are. So yes I do think now that it's getting closer to the end I am starting to go through his emotions that I had gone through when i previously posted.
     
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