I’ve reached a difficult part in my story. I’ve got my characters in two different places. After spending 10 chapters with one set, I’m switching back to the other characters. Within the next five chapters, I need to sentence dad and daughter to a life of servitude, introduce the snotty prince, get the daughter sick (introduce someone else), get the girl better, get the dad mad at the prince, and then have him thrown in the dungeons. I apparently can’t write these stories without visiting the dungeons. It’s rather depressing.
I’ve browsed my standard sites, watched my tv shows, and played all my games. I’ve run out of things to do. I must write.
Instead, I’m writing a blog entry.
I’ve been here before, you see. I don’t mind writing. But when the story gets tough, this writer gets going. I take a writing break. I check Facebook. I watch tv. I clean. You know I’m avoiding something when I’m cleaning.
Why? It’s not that I want a half finished story. I know that on a good day, it will take me half an hour sometimes to pull out a handful of paragraphs. For emotional scenes, time stands still. Think about your favorite book. Remember the part you just about cried reading? You’re not the only one who had an emotional reaction to it. For it to touch the reader, it must first touch the author. And the author not only knows what’s coming up, for a series of depressing events, the start of such scenes make them want to run for cover.
You were a wreck reading the break-up scene? Try writing the stupid scene. Try imagining both characters and rehearsing who said what. After determining you’re going to write it, then you have to figure out who’s going to talk (well, if you switch out your narrators, you do). Those scenes with all the details that made it that much more awesome? The author had to sit there and think up all those details you loved. You wanted to cry? How do you think we felt writing it?
In order for characters to have emotional depth, authors have to step ever-so-briefly into their characters’ shoes. They have to know how they feel. So if the MC feels like crying on page 38, and you’re wiping away tears by the end of the chapter, chances are the author felt like crying too.
What is the cure for getting over the difficult parts in your books? Well, eventually, you just have to do it. My current chapter needs more than two paragraphs. I should fix that. After I check Facebook.