Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Feels: An Emotional Rollercoaster of a Challenge

I'm currently working on a rather emotional scene for my next book. I hate these scenes for one major reason: I don't feel that I do them justice. The biggest issue is that in my head, I see them exactly as they are supposed to play out. Whether that is conveyed in the big ol' mess of words I throw at the screen or not is debatable.
So I'm looking for a little help. Below is a list of things I'm not comfortable writing. Surprise, they're feelings. Now, before you start spinning up some conspiracy theory about the fact that I'm a big fan of robots and can't do feelings, understand that I really am an emotional person, honest! But for whatever reason, some things are hard to put into words. What I am going to do is take this list and tackle each of these here on this blog. Here is the list:

A death scene (dying, not being murdered, see below)
A sex scene (sex, not erotica, there is a huge difference)
Someone being murdered
Someone receiving bad news
Someone receiving wonderful news
A description of someone the narrator is in love with and why
The description of someone the narrator loathes and why

This is where I need your help. I need a scenario for each of these, or another emotionally tense scene that I can explore. Once I have these up, that's where I REALLY need your help. I would like feedback. Honest opinions on whether or not I've conveyed the emotions and how strongly.
I realize that there are only a few folks who read this, so please spread the word. Surely you know someone who would love the opportunity to pick apart a stranger's ego. This is, after all, the internet.

5 comments:

  1. I am friends with a great author, Alex Bledsoe. (Read "The Hum and the Shiver". It's among my favorite books.) I asked him how to write a sex scene, once. He said he just always focuses on the character's motivation. Not their feelings, per se, but what they want at that moment. Moment to moment, what does that character want? And then, he says, the scene plays itself out. Just write it. You can do it!

    At this point, I've just read the first in your vampire series, and I do have a constructive criticism-- and I really really really want to convey that I very much enjoyed the book. But what I would like to see-- and this might actually happen in the next book, which I have purchased but not yet read-- are messier emotions. Unpredictable. Disgusting. Non sympathetic characters. Because, you know, we don't always feel what we think we would feel. So, for someone receiving wonderful news, you would think they would be really happy, but with wonderful news, there's always that second guessing of happiness. You don't believe in it, really. The character will come at it from his or her perspective, and believe they deserve happiness or don't deserve happiness or whatever they believe about themselves-- that will be their truth. The same goes for the bad news. As far as describing someone the narrator is in love with an why-- I don't think we ever know why we love someone; we just justify it. Love and logic are entirely separated in real life. So the narrator will invent reasons for loving someone, but really, she just loves someone because she loves someone. Your reasons for loving someone can just be comical, truly. Attraction is just a real thing that you can't explain. I've almost gone home with men I met at the bus station! And I swear I'm a rational person! Being murdered, no idea.
    A death scene, I think the thing is that you don't realize what a presence someone's physicalness is until it's gone-- even if they're in a coma, or something. The person is physically there, and then they are not there, and it is absolutely unbelievable. Unbelievable. Especially if you love that person. You can't believe they are dead. You talk about them in the present. You say out loud, "This cannot be." Denial. That's what happens when someone dies. The description of someone the narrator loathes could be loads of fun. I think the root of most loathing is jealousy. But we don't think of it as such. We think this person we loathe is beneath us, of course.

    That's my two cents! I'm not a published author or anything. Mostly I'm just someone who reads a lot. :) Love your books. Keep going! Someday, you will have a real editor to help.

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  2. Thank you. This means a lot and helps. I'm not a robot, but I swear sometimes I write like one. As for the next book, yes, there are messy emotions. One of my biggest pet peeves is how characters who go through traumatic events just go back to being normal people in the next installment. Screw that. I gave Lucy a healthy dose of post traumatic stress. This third one is killing me because it's less action and more psychological thriller with outlandish technology.

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  3. doodlesmom@stny.rr.comDecember 20, 2013 at 4:50 AM

    I am ticked! I just wrote about 3 paragraphs to you and they are gone. Poof! So bad news reaction is ticked off. Call me tonight or this weekend and I will try to remember what I wrote and give you a good laugh at my answers to your scenario's.

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  4. Okay, now I am about two thirds into Bluebeard's Children, and you don't seem to really need this sort of advice. I'll get to that in more detail when I finish it and review your book on my blog!

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