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Damn, emotional scenes are hard to write

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by 2WayParadox, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. 2WayParadox

    2WayParadox Sage

    Anybody want to commiserate on this?

    I just finished up a scene that deals with a lot of emotional stuff. It's easier to write emotional stuff than it was in the past, but still, damn it can be hard going.

    Do you have the same difficulty writing emotional scenes or do they just flow out of your hands?
  2. MineOwnKing

    MineOwnKing Maester

    I have the opposite problem.

    If I'm not writing dramatic dialogue I get bored. I need to feel deeply emotional to tap into my writing talent.

    Turning off the emotion is like turning off the lights.

    Battle scenes can be fun to write but they only last so long.
  3. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    It depends. If I figure out the emotional center for the scene and what it means to the greater whole early on, it can be relatively simple. But if I can't find it, it can be a slog, like a 30-passes-over-the scene-and-still-don't-got-it slog.
  4. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    It's difficult for me. If I'm not feeling the emotions, then I'm not deeply engaged with the scene. But if I *am* truly emotional, then I'm not thinking clearly and I don't write well, so the scene doesn't work smoothly. I simply cannot write clearly if I'm genuinely terrified or genuinely filled with remorse or whatever.

    The best I've been able to do is to be the narrator. I'm telling someone else, someone close (both personally and physically, at my shoulder) about this terrifying or sad or intense moment. I'm *aware* of the emotions, and the details that reveal the emotions, even though those emotions are not mine.

    Dunno if that helps or what.
  5. BronzeOracle

    BronzeOracle Sage

    I am still a beginner writer for all intents but I do enjoy writing emotional scenes as I love the feeling of expressing the feelings of characters - I feel them running through me as I write. What I find hard to write are arguments between sophisticates - cos I'm not that sophisticated!
  6. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

    I love it when I am writing and get choked up about what I write.
    I hope that means the reader will too.

    You need to feel the emotion to write it, but you can't get so emotional you can't complete the scene.
  7. 2WayParadox

    2WayParadox Sage

    I tend to take a somewhat different approach. I know a rough feel for the start of a scene and I know a rough end for the scene, these can change if I get a better idea along the way, but that's generally how I work. I've got some sense of the event I want to portray and then I just let my characters at it. But to get that flowing I need to get into the riht mindset, and it seems more difficult when you're writing stuff you've got trouble understanding yourself.

    I write my emotional scenes more with a thinking mind than with an emotional mind.

    (well, this post got muddled)
  8. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    For me, I sometimes find myself writing a scene for which I KNOW I've felt the right emotions, but I find them hard to reproduce. It's a huge problem because like others have said, when I'm in the right place to experience the correct things (emotions, thoughts, sensations) I'm not in the right frame of mind to be creative. I feel really comfortable writing things like love, sadness, loss in a general sense. Writing things like starving, long periods of sleeplessness, withdrawal, depression, friend betrayal, I've experienced, but am not able to capture with all their respective elements, unfortunately because once the symptoms fade, my memory works to forget. Things like the death of a love, death of a child, long periods of mourning, being hunted, I've struggled with because I can only imagine, never having experienced them first hand.

    It's a double-edged blade, isn't it? Writing emotionally engaging scenes with authenticity, but from a place of creativity, not indulgence.

    My suggestion would be to plan something tragic, like a break-up with your partner, a period of self-loathing, a four-day fast, and then jot down notes. I'M KIDDING!!! But it's kinda hard to write some stuff without going through it at least a little. I guess that's why we're so fortunate to have this site, where people can ask others for personal input. I know I've benefited from asking questions, and I've shared a lot of really personal experiences (some I'm not proud of), all in the name of writing authenticity.

    Keep being awesome, scribes. We sharpen each other.

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