So I don’t know how anyone else writes. Your process.
Me, I channel my characters’ emotions. What they feel, I feel. Even if I don’t always realize it.
Case in point: this week.
I’m working on a novel that I’ve been working on for four years now. Doing the Tolkien Method–starting from the beginning every time I dig it back out and getting a little further each draft. It’s a beast. But that’s not the point here.
The point is that my protagonist is a mess. I love her, but she’s an emotional train wreck.
Not in the sense that she’s crying or lashing out or doing anything interesting. More in the sense that she is entirely suspicious, collected, contained, the “why are you being nice to me” type with a possible history of violence who is Not Used to having soft things.
Yes, I have dropped a harsh character into some fluff storytelling and I will not be apologizing for that.
But because she’s on my mind all the time…it’s wearing on me.
I’ve always done this thing where I carry my characters with me in my head, pick up where we left off if I have a spare moment. Grocery shopping? In the novel. Somewhere noisy and trying to ignore the hubbub? How about the rest of that chapter? Long car trip? Conversation that really does not require you say anything to keep going? Game on.
But this novel…I’m so deep in her thoughts she’s rubbing off on me, and I too am becoming a slightly jumpy, dark and bitter character.
Don’t do this, if you’re going to be around people. Like, at all. I don’t remember what story I was writing now, but I was having lunch with friends and accidentally timed it so I finished a really dramatic scene immediately prior.
My hands were shaking.
One time I got emotional about a time jump because a character I started with when she was nine or ten was suddenly all grown up with a family. That was a funk that lasted for days.
But this protagonist?
Be glad you don’t live with me right now.
I don’t even realize I’m doing it. I just think I’m having a bad day with a side of “why must people.” Couldn’t be hanging out with a girl who doesn’t trust anyone within stabbing distance of her. Nah. Couldn’t be that.
It’s kind of exhausting.
Writing through the night is probably not helping.
So you’re getting a short update tonight, because I didn’t want to skip a week of posting now that I’m in the groove again, but don’t have the energy to write a 6,000-word rant about a troll book.
It snowed here. Like frosting on gingerbread. It’s pretty.
Showed someone my lifetime NaNoWriMo wordcount and was rewarded with, “That’s disgusting.” That is the appropriate response.
Apparently if you show up on Twitter and ask if anyone wants to talk about faeries, the answer is a resounding yes. I haven’t had writers crawl out of the dark corners of the internet to talk to me en force that readily in a while.
Things will be better once I get some rest. Work is crazy right now, so of course all I want to do is write.
Every time I work on this novel, I hope this time, this will be it, this is the draft that will finish it.
It’s getting better, I think.