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Archived Author Help > Emotional Drain

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message 1: by B.K. (new)

B.K. Harrell (bkharrell) | 23 comments I was just ended get if anyone else ever felt emotional drains after writing certain scenes in their books. How do you deal with it and can you come back to writing the next day?


message 2: by Hester (new)

Hester Maree | 4 comments I've had that too. Found the best is to just let it lie overnight or for a few days, do something completely different you enjoy (see a movie, read, plant something in the garden), then go back to it. You'll have a fresh perspective and be ready to carry on. Probably write better too.


Tara Woods Turner Another thing you can do is actually read the entire scene aloud. It lets you navigate the scene word by word and it becomes less daunting and more accessible. You also find flaws more easily this way.


message 4: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4310 comments Mod
Bryan wrote: "I was just ended get if anyone else ever felt emotional drains after writing certain scenes in their books. How do you deal with it and can you come back to writing the next day?"

When writing makes me feel any emotion at all, I come back and write because I know I'm onto something. If it's making me feel, it will make others feel. If I'm not feeling any emotion, I leave it alone and write something else.

The more drained or exhausted I feel with some kinds of writing, the happier I am. You bet I'll be back at it as soon as possible.


message 5: by R. (new)

R. Billing (r_billing) | 228 comments This happens to me. Last night I wrote one of my power inversion scenes. It ends up with Jane flat on her back, clamped to a steel chair and unable to move. However she manages to manipulate the situation so that she's still in charge. Putting it together was such an emotional rollercoaster that this morning I'm almost afraid to open the file.

Then there is one scene in RftS where a secondary character dies, despite Jane's attempt at emergency surgery. Re-reading it years later I still find myself tearing up. One beta reader was so upset (I think she was falling in love with the character) that she hit me quite hard when she read that bit.

There is also the infamous Jojo, who is such a terminal icebitch that she frightens me, and I invented her

I called for the online editions of the London papers. It was only too obvious what had happened. Ruth had taken the DLR to Stratford, crossed to the Shenfield Line side, and stepped off the platform in front of a Liverpool Street train as it was running in to the station. The impact had killed her instantly, and brought the morning rush hour to a grinding halt.
She had left her handbag on the platform. It contained a note, similar to the one she had e-mailed to Matt, and a copy of the DVD.
I hadn't intended to kill her, but business is business.


After I wrote that I decided that I really didn't want to open the Ms if I was alone in the house.


message 6: by Jane (new)

Jane Jago | 888 comments I think this happens to most of us if we invest any of ourselves in our writing.

I deal by writing whatever the heck it is as loosely and quickly as possible. Then I walk away from that passage. I don't look at it until I've settled. That can take days.

But sometimes the best bits are the hardest to write.


message 7: by R. (new)

R. Billing (r_billing) | 228 comments Jane wrote: "But sometimes the best bits are the hardest to write."

Very true. The passage where my protag is trying to come to terms with the fact that her actions have led to the death of the only man who truly loved her went through fifteen rewrites.

I mean that. The version in the book is the sixteenth attempt.


message 8: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Reber | 181 comments Bryan wrote: "I was just ended get if anyone else ever felt emotional drains after writing certain scenes in their books. How do you deal with it and can you come back to writing the next day?"

I'm fairly certain my characters cringe when they see me coming. I put them through a LOT, things which I'm sure would break me if I ever went through them.
In answer to your question though, if you're emotionally involved with your characters enough that you feel drained after writing a scene...you're doing it right! They're your children, you're their god. If you can reread the same scene and still be moved, that's amazing. *Clapping loudly.* Write on, dude! You rock. 8-)


message 9: by B.K. (new)

B.K. Harrell (bkharrell) | 23 comments Thanks. I wrote 1400 words last night for a scene between my hero and the psychiatrist who is helping him with his PTSD. I guess it really hits home projecting your own issues onto your characters. After writing for 2 hrs I was just done. We will see if the juices are flowing tonight.


message 10: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4310 comments Mod
Bryan wrote: "We will see if the juices are flowing tonight."

If, for some reason, they're not, don't stress about it. It sounds like you're writing characters you care about and an issue that is close to home for you. You got this. Relax and let it happen as it will.


message 11: by Eva (new)

Eva Pasco (evapasco) | 90 comments The emotional investment we make in our characters and their situations can take its toll. I take it all in, feeling pleased that I could convey everything I needed to in words. Then, I strike while the iron is hot and move forward while everything is still raw.


message 12: by Angel (last edited Jun 19, 2016 05:00AM) (new)

Angel | 216 comments The emotional scenes I can handle, it's when I can't execute a scene or have trouble finishing it is when I become drained from trying to make this happen while all at the same time several well developed ideas are flooding my head at hyper speed. I have to sit back and wait for my mind to calm down but, I always go back and continue the writing.

The emotional stuff is what sparks my mind into inspirational overdrive, which is a side effect, not always as wonderful as it sounds but, the end result is I seem to have a knack for making my audience feel that emotional connection to my characters.

So hang in there but, do take breaks so you won't burnout. Then go back, always go back. It just means the muse is at work, not necessarily always understood but, should always be respected. Also it's great for the craft of writing: the emotional roller coaster.


message 13: by Anna (new)

Anna Chant | 8 comments I wrote a lot of my current novel with tears pouring down my face. I cry again every time I edit those pages as well. Now the book is at the editing stage I find it helps to read the ending again after looking at those scenes, to remind myself that it doesn't stay that bad for them!

Those very sad scenes are actually quite short in the first draft because I was so desperate to write on to the happier scenes.


message 14: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Garcia (laloga) | 10 comments When I had to write a pretty major secondary character's death, it took me several WEEKS to get the scene down. I just didn't want to do it! Even now, it's still hard for me to read. Anytime I write a scene that makes me tear up or laugh...those are the ones I know will "hit" the audience. :)


message 15: by T.L. (new)

T.L. Clark (tlcauthor) | 727 comments Oh yes, I get that! My romances don't pull punches; there's many ups as well as downs.

Particularly my latest book; it's about a CSA survivor, and It got really harrowing in places. But that's why it took me 18 months to write.
I wrote what I could when I could. I took breaks away from it and went back when I was ready.

Being indie means I don't have tight deadlines, I can just let my work happen when it and I are ready.

Emotion is good. I've written several scenes that have made me cry (and I mean properly sob). But this is picked up by the readers who then also feel that emotion. It means you're writing a good story.

So, go with the flow, and take it easy.

(also; there's a reason many of us writers are hooked on chocolate and coffee) ;-P

Feel free to pop onto my 'I need a hug' thread in SIA if you need. One is always happy to offer out virtual ((hugs))

xx


message 16: by Peggy (new)

Peggy (psramsey) | 33 comments I have a character who was tortured as a child. I've only referenced it in the first two books; my intention was to have flashbacks in the third book.

I know what happened to him. I cannot physically make myself write the words.


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