1. roseberryse
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    roseberryse Member

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    Putting off writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by roseberryse, Dec 7, 2009.

    I am hoping to write a book about a subject that is very close to me and that I feel very strongly about. Recently, the topic has been predominant in my life and has taken over all thoughts and feelings. I know that as soon as I sit down to write, the anger is going to build and build and that my hands won't be able to keep up with my mind. With that being said, I don't know whether I should wait until some of my feelings subside before writing, or if I should embrace them and hope to not sound too angry in the writing.

    I understand that if I were simply writing for myself, then I should just write write write and not worry about it. But the truth is, as far fetched as it may be, my goal is to eventually get published.

    What would you suggest?
     
  2. Coldwriter
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    Coldwriter Contributing Member

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    Roseberryse:

    I would sit down and write immediately. It sounds like this could be a great chance to capture true emotion down. You said it would build and build...in this way, you wouldn't have to try and come up with emotions or feelings based on trying to remember, but they will be raw and forthcoming.

    If you're worried you will sound too angry, you can always go back and edit. But in my opinion, writing what you care about and being in the mood of emotion is a perfect time to write. It's not forced, it's honest...

    If you choose to write it, post it somewhere. I am intrigued and you haven't even written what it's about. Something about the small emotion in your short post is capturing.

    Go for it
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    write it now, while the fever's on you... but then put it aside and don't take it out till you've mellowed out and can judge it dispassionately...
     
  4. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    If I write with my emotions it tends to become muddled, self-contradicting and somewhat draining to read. If yours is anything like that, I'd suggest what the others suggested too -- to edit it once you've cooled down.
     
  5. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    Are you writing fiction or nonfiction or poetry? And what's your writing objective? To inform or to vent or to discover or investigate, self exploration or a personal catharsis? I think any of the above are worthy aims and any of them will show in the writing in one way or another. The question is what you'd like accomplish in the writing itself. I know you want to "publish" it, but the question is really to what end? So, I think my approach would be different, depending.
     
  6. InkDream
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    InkDream Senior Member

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    I say embrace it. If you feel the need to tone it down later you can do so during the revising/editing process.
     
  7. roseberryse
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    roseberryse Member

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    It would be fiction, but many of the events would be loosely based off of real life situations.
     
  8. FrankB
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    FrankB Member

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    I agree with the general consensus - strike while the iron is hot. Editing (and there will be plenty of it) is the time for sober, second thought.
     
  9. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Usually I come up with good lines when I'm angry. Most of them are suitable to be published ;)
     
  10. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    The big issue with creating fiction from real life situations--especially distressing ones that are exceptionally fresh--is that it's extremely difficult for many writers to fictionalize details sufficiently to create a compelling story. There remains some personal need to stand firmly on the side of something you might call "real truth" (or fact) and place the main character on the side of "rightness" and the "bad guy" squarely on the opposite shore. That doesn't always make for good, plausible fiction. And implausible fiction never adequately delivers the message the writer aims to deliver.

    Another matter I often see in such stories is writers who insists upon real (recollected) conversation for fictional dialogue, which is often mind-numbingly irrelevant (to the fictional story) and can easily bore a reader right out of the fiction (and the fictional truth).

    From those kinds of stories I've read myself and there have been quite a few (usually from one-story novelist wannabes), this has a good deal to do with failing to fully empathize with the "other side" of the real situation in which the writer has been victimized in some way--especially when combined with the difficulty surrounding the necessity for the fiction reader to perceive both the good guy and bad guy as plausible.

    What makes compelling fiction compelling (to me) depends upon complex characters I come to understand (think empathy, not sympathy). Characters, including both victim and victimizer, come to life for me when they possess qualities that are both interesting and accessible to my human imagination. I can climb into their skin and take a look at the world through their viewpoint and develop an understanding of their rationale. They (all) probably posess a mixture of good and bad elements, make smart and dumb choices, and behave in intelligent and foolish ways, all of which contribute toward the story itself, where conflict arises, gets complicated and, finally is resolved (at least within the confines of the fictional story) in some way that leaves the reader with a subtle or dramatic sense of enlightenment.

    I guess what I'm suggesting is that your real-life situation must be ready to take a serious back seat to the fictional story you aim for. I don't think you need to worry about compromising your core principles (surrounding the topic) in order to fictionalize a story that arises from a devastating real-life circumstance or experience. But you do need to know that unless and until real details can be exchanged for fictional ones that will simply work better to tell a compelling story, the outcome is likely to be less than optimal.

    You can certainly write the factual details you know about into a diary or notebook from which you can draw useful information about what it actually feels like to have been through the experience you've had. Just know that doing that is likely to be the merest tip of the fictional iceberg. Then, give your imagination a field day.

    That's my two.:)
     
  11. roseberryse
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    roseberryse Member

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    I guess the biggest thing isn't that I'm simply going to tell what has happened, but many large events that take place, including drug abuse, manipulation, the sacrifice of children's needs over parent's wants, are the "themes" I want to draw upon from this real life situation. I don't plan on simply telling what has happened to me or those around me, but rather use those themes to create a fictional story.

    I have read plent of memoirs that seem good, but in all honesty I'd rather be reading fiction for the sole reason that it's more interesting.

    Thanks for the advice though. I surely am willing to sacrifice the real life events for the sake of fiction.
     
  12. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    Then go for it! Me, too, when it comes to a preference for fiction over memoirs. I think that has everything to do with the degree to which the writer allowed his or her imagination free reign in spite of the fact that doing so sometimes feel a little like a betrayal of (actual) truth. The very best fiction carries with it a substantial and resonant truth of its own.
     
  13. roseberryse
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    roseberryse Member

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    Agreed. For example, A Million Little Pieces, I found it enjoyable and wasn't surprised when it came out that he'd taken some "liberties" with it. The best writing comes when your imagination runs wild.
     
  14. Phantasmal Reality
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    Phantasmal Reality Contributing Member

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    Seconded. Write now, edit later.
     
  15. Stephie Kaye
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    Stephie Kaye Member

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    I agree with everyone here, just write it. Get it down on paper (or computer) and just write. If you feel that it is too angry or too whatever later on you can edit it. But, usually, the best writings are the ones with the most emotion in them.

    Good Luck, and I would LOVE to read/critique it when you're ready to post it!

    :love:
     
  16. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    I haven't read that myself. But I never have understood why anyone (editor, publisher, or author) would "choose" to label something a memoir (which in my view is an ambiguous genre, to begin with), if it would pass as fiction to begin with. I assume in his case, it was a marketing thing where maybe someone thought a fiction label would limit the chances of getting Frey's story on Oprah or whatever shows the author appeared on. I think fiction writers' real-life experiences are far more interesting in terms of how they contribute to shaping their imaginations than they are when turned into memoirs (all of which are suspect to me--maybe even especially so, the most compelling ones).
     

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