On a Tuesday morning two weeks ago (which is when I really began writing this article,) I awoke with an almost overwhelming urge to do bodily harm to, well anyone. To say that I’d had an abysmal few nights of sleep is a gross understatement. I won’t bore your with the details of my health situation, but suffice it to say, I wasn’t a happy kitty.
As I am, at times, a pragmatic individual, I decided to use my foul mood to an advantage. Since I had a few scenes percolating in my head that would require anger or violence, I decided to write them. So, after my lovely (NOT) doctors appointment, I came home and began to craft a few chapters that would allow me to vent the anger. I highly recommend this course for all writers. You see, when we create characters, we must make sure that they are authentic in their emotions. To do so brings a true multidimensionality to our characters that can actually impact the reader like a buffalo stomping in your gut.
As stated, I try to be pragmatic, so here are a few tips to writing while you’re emotional.
- 1). Be honest with yourself about what emotion you are feeling and why.
- 2). Just let the words flow. When you do so, you’ll get a better reaction out of your character or scene. You can always go back and clean it up later.
- 3). Don’t try to police your feelings. If you try to reason with or squelch them, you won’t get the emotional results that could’ve really touched your reader.
Having done these things, I was able to dig into a place that I normally won’t go to. I wrote a scene that might make a few people squirm. The other scene, well let’s just say the anger shot off of the page when I read it. I let a few of my friends read it to see what they’d say. Their response confirmed for me that the scene did what it needed to without being to over the top or washed down.
Embrace your emotions. Write from the bottom of your heart all the way to the top. Don’t cheat yourself or your readers by attempting to be Politically Correct or telling yourself you shouldn’t feel a certain way. Use your emotions. Your writing will be the better for it.