Sunday, June 26, 2011

Once more, with feeling

Writing emotionally is, at this point in time, my biggest hurdle in my work.  I do not let myself get emotionally involved, and my writing suffers for it.  I tell the story, instead of showing it.  

This is the first time in recent memory that I became emotional while writing.  I'm Lego_my_Lego, if that clarifies things.  And that only came about because I was thinking about my aunt, and was able to use those same emotions to write something similar but fictitious.  This is something brand new to me.  When I was young and even more stupid than I am now, I was still writing, but it was mopey, high school drama.  Too emotional.  Stupidly emotional.  Everyone was dying, or had died, and everyone was depressed, and suicidal, and there was just angst dripping from every sentence in everything I wrote.  I'm long past that stage of my life, and I made a decision that I wouldn't do that again, make these overly deep emotions, because it didn't feel real anymore.  It just felt like fourteen year old girl writing - drama and more drama.  

So here I am, ten years later, and I've removed most of those emotions from my stories, from my writing.  And now I need them.  

Well, I need something.  I've been through some stuff in my life, but I hate writing about myself.  Fiction is safe.  Much more safe than drawing from my life experiences, that's why I do it.  I've gone through pain, but it's my pain, private.  I don't want to show it to outsiders.  I keep that secret part of myself, and because of that, I have nothing left to make my characters feel.  I am currently trying to reconcile this.  Writing about emotions that I myself have felt and that I was deeply moved by necessitates me living through them again.

I guess it doesn't have to be all bad.  I just need to make my characters feel all kinds of emotions, and not just the negative ones I was going through as one of those 'off' kids in high school.  I've also had all sorts of positive emotions.  Love, awe...  I've traveled the world and seen all kinds of beauty.  These, too, have a place in my writing.  As long as it is an emotion that I've experienced strongly, it has a place.  

I have to remember that even writing fiction I'm writing truth.  These are real emotions I'm talking about.  These characters don't have to be physically real, but they do have to be alive, both to me and the reader.  Fiction is folks, and folks feel.            

I'm still working on this.  Years and years of emotional repression are finally just starting to be unraveled.  And it is hard.  Consciously trying to improve your art isn't easy.  I'm used to it being one way, and the way I've been doing it isn't that bad.  But it could be so much better, if only I tried a little harder.

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