Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Writerly skills and Writerly chills.

Mom and I went to the liquor store (because where else do you go on the weekend (I don't care that I sound like an alcoholic, I know I'm not. I just appreciate a good drink after a long week of writing.)) and the grocery store.

We go back to the car only to realize we parked in a Reserved parking space for Rogers (a video store) customers only.

Mom was all, it's a good thing no one noticed we didn't go in the store.

And I immediately replied, "It doesn't matter, I'm a Rogers customer twenty four seven. If they try and say otherwise, I'll show them my phone bill." (Rogers is also a phone company.)

Mom laughs, clearly amazed by my unstoppable wit and genius (and modesty).

"Don't even worry mom, I build worlds, I think I can find my way out of anything now."

Now, normally I'd segue into some helpful writing advice like: the tools we learn and use in our writing can be beneficially applied to our lives. Through journeying with our characters, we learn their lessons and in turn, become stronger characters ourselves.

But, I don't want to elaborate on that.

You see, I've been writing some pretty horrific stuff. It was brief but the taint of it lingers on my MC, saturates her as she goes into the final three chapters of my book. It's all a jumbled mess in her head.

Which means, unfortunately, it (I wish I could explain but it would ruin my book!) is haunting me as well. I feel sick and unsteady and like my world could crumble if I take one misstep.

I can't sleep because horrific events and scenes loop in my mind, unforgiving and terrifying.

And I need to know,

Do you ever write something that horrifies you? Something so terrible you can't believe you thought of it? Do you ever make yourself sick because of events in your book?

Maybe, when people read it, they won't react like I have. I don't expect them too. My characters are a part of me, they mean more to me then I can possibly express, and they gave me hope when I had none (that's another blog post entirely) and I have a hard time knowing that my subconscious is so cruel to them in return.

I'd like to think I'm not alone.

Hope NaNo (or your other endeavors) is going well for you guys. I'm done! Except not because November was less about winning NaNo and more about finishing my book. But I'm close to that too.


  1. I write a first person novel about a serial killer. Trust me. I terrify myself.

    I'm relieved to know that I would never perform the things that I write, it doesn't scare me any less.

    Luckily my husband is super sweet and tells me to keep writing because it's so GOOD... but I can't help knowing that I wrote it and realizing that I have the mind of a serial killer *shudders*

  2. I think I need to scare myself more--I'm too kind to my characters. Congrats on being almost done! That's so exciting!

  3. I have started writing some things and stopped because I couldn't finish it. It was just that dark and something I completely didn't agree with. So yea, you're not alone.

    Good luck with the rest of the book. :)

  4. This is such an awesome story. Love it.

  5. I'm actually really proud when I write something really terrifying. With me, I like my villains to be really evil -- they're not half-assing it -- so coming up with something like that just thrills me.

    I don't really get terrified by anything I write however because with my two books, the inspirations for them have been terrifying events from my real life. So it's really me turning these bad things into something creative and positive (although you couldn't call either of my novels a light or happy or positive read).

  6. Yes. Some things I have had to research have horrified me just as some things I have thought up have sickened me. But it makes for good literature AND it's not like you act in real life like a crazy person. You just know...what...a crazy person does...okay that doesn't help. Start again: The fact that you are so wigged out is a great thing because if you didn't see anything wrong with some events that you had to write that would make you an ookey person! Better. :)

    Looking up ancient torture techniques was my moment of horror a few months ago...blech...

    Good luck with finishing! Hope we can hear more about your WiP!

  7. I like that you felt the need to explain that Rogers is also a phone company. Hahah!

  8. My novella Consecrated was intensely emotional and personal for me. It was often hard to write.

  9. Haven't made myself sick yet because of events in my book, but I have made myself sad...

  10. I do sometimes shiver at the thought of what I'm doing to my MC, but I know it works out(sort of), so I get through it.

  11. I think it's good for your writing if you sort of freak yourself out. It means there's real emotion in there, and your readers will feel it too.

    Congrats on "winning" Nano already! That was really fast!!!

  12. Sometimes that happens to me, too; I'll look at a phrase or a character and I'll say, "I wrote that?!" since it just doesn't seem like me.

  13. Grats on completing NaNo. Impressive. Yep, I influence my characters and my characters influence me. Often when I write an intense scene I have to stop for a while and take a breather.

  14. It kills me to write the death of one of my characters. I cry, I procrastinate, and I dwell on it forever.

    But good for you for going to that level, I think you have to get there if you want to write something that's really important.

  15. I’ve had some pretty horrific things go through my head too. I tell myself they’re not my thoughts. It’s either years of therapy for me, or writing it down and pretending I’m creative.
    The enigmatic, masked blogger

  16. Sometimes getting my characters through some awful stuff is a way to get them to the good stuff . . . I hope.
    Glad to hear that NaNo and your novel are coming along nicely.

  17. I was thinking about this exact same thing yesterday! I was wondering to myself what my mom would be thinking about my mental state when she one day reads all the horrific things my one MC has done...

    But, you know, horrible things happen in the world, and if we can write about them perhaps that makes us braver than others who are too scared to face writing something like that... I don't know!

  18. Congrats on NaNo! That is super amazing. I've only finished one novel, the one I'm trying to get an agent for, and it's not that dark. However, our books and characters speak to us, and tell us which path to go down. It's just part of the creative process. I might well have a story take me somewhere very dark in the future. You're definitely not the only one!

  19. Congrats! in advance for finishing your book. Its a milestone that deserves celebrating. I'm doing Nano and if I do 25,000 words I'll be very happy.

  20. haha-- YEP it kind of worries the people around me (My FIL told me I had a scary mind)!

  21. You're not alone! For one of my novels, I had to do research into cyclist deaths in London - how they die, etc. Horrible, horrible stuff. I still dream about it!

  22. I think we all do - to one point or another. I find I need to balance it at times... if I sink into it for too long I need a breather or feel, uhm, wrong. Like my skin doesn't quite fit anymore. But it makes for some good scenes. (Though sometimes I feel the need to explain to non-writer friends or family that just because I wrote about it doesn't mean I have personal experience!)
    congrats on winning nano and soon to be finishing your novel! I'll keep plugging away on mine and maybe get to join you on the winners podium! ;)

  23. I am sometimes horrified by what my muse comes up with. Sometimes think "where the hell did that come from?". But then I understand that I am just being creative and that I am just writing fiction not premeditating anything to happen in my life.

    Not that I know of yet...:/ Anyway, sometimes it comes out like word vomit and doesn't stop. A volcano of atrociousness. I love it.

  24. Yes I write things that make me sick sometimes... I basically have nightmares about some scenes I write.

    I often wonder if it is right to write about such things, yet i never can control the material i write, so I just go with the flow.'

    My wip is in the third stage of revision and I’m heading towards a fourth.

    Good luck

  25. Yes! I'm often surprised by what my brain comes up with ... but I've learned from other writers to go with it ... that's when you're on to something. Who knew?! :)

  26. Congrats on being close to finishing your novel! Awesome!

  27. I haven't horrified myself yet, but there are a few gruesome things in my novel, more so as I get towards the end. But I have made myself bawl over killing off a character. No so much the fact that I killed him, but the reaction of his sister is what made me cry.

    Sounds like you are doing great- if your characters can make you stay up all night, cry, worry and agonize over them, then I think you are doing something good!

  28. I've had war scenes that I ick out on, but nothing too terrible . . yet. :)

  29. I'm in the middle of a few scenes like that right now. My husband keeps looking over at me asking, "what's wrong?"
    How on earth do you answer? I'm living the nightmare of my character??
    I have no idea.
    But yes, I'm there.

  30. Some things I've written are definitely horrifying. I'm also an emotional human being, so it's not a good mix! Then again, realize how much your emotions impact your reader through your writing. As they say, "If the author doesn't cry, neither does the reader."

  31. Hi Melissa,

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today! I love meeting new HP people. I'm so excited about going to the Wizarding World next week.

    I leave on Sat. Morning and I'm driving. I live in Chicago so I'll get there in a few days. When I stop off at the hotel I definitely will join your HP party.

    I don't know how to do the linky, I'd appreciate it if you can send it to me and direction how to. It is great to have it. I'm hoping to have at least 50 participating, If you could post the contest in your side blog, I'd really appreciate it. I'm taking you banner for my site.

    I'm really happy to meet you!



Thank you in advance for commenting, I read and appreciate every single word.