Friday, November 28, 2008

Inspiration can be so emotionally draining...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wow! I had hoped that while we were up visiting my husband's family this week that I would get some good writing in. After all, this is the area where I first dreamed up Instinct and it's characters that I have grown to love so much. Like I said, I hoped I would get at least a little bit of writing done... I had no idea just how much my little gremlin would come through.

For example, the night before last I was up a good 3 hours hand writing a total of 7 pages worth of dialog for two different scenes. It took me all day to type it all in, adding in all the extra descriptive details that my dictation-style dialogue had lacked. When I stay up writing dialogue, I tend to just write down exactly what I hear the characters saying in my head, only adding in descriptions if they come naturally. I never stop to think about the correct way to describe the facial expressions during these settings. This could be because I'm so tired and just want to get the gist of it all down so I can get back to bed- actually... yeah that's probably the main reason.

I really wish that I hadn't been so stubborn that night, refusing to walk downstairs and plop down on the comfy couch and type everything on the laptop. Looking back now, it would have made more sense to do this than to lay there on the floor, hand writing page after page of text by the glow of a little plug-in night light. I'm even a faster at typing than I am at hand writing, but as I said... I'm stubborn.

The scenes that I wrote were so emotionally intense that in between writing them I had to actually walk around the house, get a drink, check my email... (don't even get on to me about why I didn't just stay on the laptop once I was there... it was a crazy night!).

That night I wrote the scene that transitions Casey at her happiest, "life is perfect" time to where the proverbial rug is pulled out from under her. Writing the first half of the first scene was so euphoric for me. Casey was happy, I was absolutely glowing with the joy she felt... it was wonderful! But then by the end of the scene, I was crying and just as depressed as she was beginning to feel, probably even more so because I knew what was coming. This is when I had to take my little walk around the house. Having this scene playing through my head repeatedly while I wrote it left me feeling so empty, like a hollow shell of myself. On the plus side, this is how Casey is supposed to feel, but it was so much more intense then I ever imagined it would be.

At this point, I tried to go back to bed. Surely after writing 4 pages, front and back of deeply emotional text my writing gremlin would be satisfied, right? ... if you answered yes, you obviously don't know my writing gremlin very well... As soon as my head hit the pillow another scene, slightly related to the one I had just poured from my soul onto the page, started playing out in my head. I groaned and then very quietly I made my way out of the bed again, trying desperately not to wake my sleeping husband.

Now, at this point, you would think that I would have been awake enough to realize that going to the laptop would be the best course of action? You obviously underestimate my stubbornness.

I found my comfy spot on the floor and angled the notebook in such a way that my hand wouldn't block the nightlight as I wrote and began again. This time I wrote part of the final chapter, the second half of it to be exact. I can see why my gremlin wanted me to finish with this scene that night though. It was the perfect emotional balance to correct the depression from before. A conversation from the previous scene was a major part of the ending and it was so nice getting to write a different perspective on what was said.

Without even trying, when I finished I noticed that I had used the final sentence that I had dreamed up a while back. I was almost certain that since I changed the point-of-view of the chapter, that it wouldn't work anymore, but it did! Even with the change of perspective on what was said, I found it just as emotional as the original interpretation of it, if not more.

These characters are becoming so real to me. I don't know if it's because I'm spending so much time with them, learning everything about them or if it's because of where I'm at right now, pretty much the birth place of the entire novel. Whatever it is, it's making writing the scenes so easy. For most of the characters I hardly have to take any time to "get into character" before writing dialogue for them anymore. I just hope that I am adequately expressing everything that happens. If I can make a reader feel the connections between the characters half as strong as I do, then it will be something special. I wouldn't expect anyone to understand the characters as much as I do though, I mean, I know things about everyone that will most-likely never be told.

Right now I am deeply inspired to write another emotional scene. It keeps playing itself over and over in my head complete with the music that I had put in my inspirations playlist for it. This scene is huge to the story as it's a major turning point for one of the characters. Being so important, it's a little difficult to express everything properly. I mean, I could easily enough write up a bland chapter explaining exactly that happens right now, but that wouldn't do it justice. I'm spending a day or so to really delve into the emotions that this character is feeling at that moment. It's not an emotion that I have any experience with, well, to be honest I can't imagine anyone having experience with exactly what they are going through. I just want this scene to ooze the emotions and contradictions and deep thoughts that the character is experiencing. So much is going through the person's mind that it pretty much leaves them spinning. I've been playing several songs on my iPod on repeat throughout the day, trying to absorb the emotions from them. I think I'm almost there, the feeling of inspiration that feels like it's about to explode out of me is getting stronger as the day progresses.

Oooh! Oooh! That reminds me, here's something that I wrote during our drive up here this past weekend. I got inspired to write what I think inspiration feels like.

"It's odd, I have this… physical reaction when inspiration hits me suddenly. You'd think, being a writer, that I wouldn't have any problems describing this feeling. It happens without warning, I might see a dead tree, it's silver bark and limbs standing starkly in front of it's lush, green counterparts. It could be in response to an overheard conversation. Even if I don't know exactly what about the tree or the words are inspirational, the feeling is still there. It's a tightening of my stomach, like a knot forming within it's core. It's a sudden dryness in my throat and a catch in my breath. This feeling stays with me until I relent and seek out meaning within the object of my curiosity. I begin digging, peeling through the layers until I find that perfect spark of pure inspiration. Once I find it, I cradle it and nurture it into explaining itself to me fully. Then, once the story enfolds within the confines of my mind, I type up the synopsis and store it away. To save the perfect spark of imagination for a later time when I am able to fully develop it."

I wrote this during our 6 hour drive. Our son had just fallen asleep, so I was free to use the laptop, which had previously been playing cartoons to distract and entertain him so that he wouldn't notice he was strapped into his car seat. I've felt this feeling so much lately, that I decided that writing what it felt like would be a good writing exercise. I have a lot of emotional scenes to write and if I could adequately describe my physical and emotional response to being inspired then I shouldn't have any problems writing like that for my characters. So, whatcha think?

Well, it's time to try and put my son down for his nap, so I'll stop here. Well, that and I don't really have anything else to say right now...

In case I don't post again tomorrow, Happy Turkey Day Everyone!



Post a Comment