2.15.2010

A Question for Jane

Tell me, Miss Austen: when you penned the scene where Darcy tries to comfort Elizabeth after the news of Lydia's elopement--did you have to get up and walk about the floor to relieve your feelings? Mine get worked up when I read it. I can just imagine how it may have felt to write it.

Miss Brontë, when you wrote the line "Reader, I married him" could you not stop smiling for some minutes--or hours?

Ms. Rowling, perhaps you've already told the world whether you had to take a break to cry when you wrote Harry's walk into the forest with his lost loved ones. I should remember that, and I don't, not off the top of my head--but I would not be surprised.

From the things I've read, I'm pretty confident that Mrs. Meyer and Miss Alcott could sympathize with such feelings.

What about you other writers out there, published or not? Does writing an emotional scene or section get you all worked up? Part II of my NaNo novel--while I certainly won't venture to compare it to any of the above works--has taken such energy and passion for me to write that I have had to take time just to put my head down on the couch and bite my lower lip. I told Lou that I wanted to sit and cry till I felt normal again, which made him laugh.

I am deathly afraid right now that all my readers will hand the manuscript back to me, marked over, with the words "This is self-indulgent, sentimental crap. Try again. Or better yet, don't." Ah, the stuff of nightmares.

James Scott Bell says to "Delve into your character's heart. As the author, you must feel the big emotions as much as your fictional creation does."* Yes, and it hurts like heck when you do. Especially when you're trying to feel for several of them--and sometimes even when the emotions are positive.

Part III, here I come. This should make for an interesting week.

* James Scott Bell, "Leave Them With Hope," Writing Basics magazine, May 2006. That's all the citation information I could come up with ...

4 comments:

  1. Jenna said, "I am deathly afraid right now that all my readers will hand the manuscript back to me, marked over, with the words 'This is self-indulgent, sentimental crap. Try again. Or better yet, don't.' Ah, the stuff of nightmares."

    Remember the counter-charm is "riddikulus." :)

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  2. LOL! Revgeorge, that just made my day.

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  3. "Or better yet, don't." That's what we risk when we write. But that's the trade-off to tell our stories.

    Sometimes I get excited when the writing's going well, or I have a good idea, regardless of the emotional content of the scene. One scene, though, I call it the "Mugging Scene." I've written it twice so far, and was shaking each time after I finished.

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  4. Newmaldon, you're so right about the risk we take. I think it's worth it. :)

    It's amazing how writing a scene can do that to you. The people and places in a story become so real for a writer. I adore mine, and anything that happens to them affects me.

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