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Aug 17

Character guilt

This draft is happening a lot slower than I wanted it to happen, but progress is still being made. In fact, today I start the first of two ‘big events’ at the end. If I had a graph of this story — and no, I don’t have one. That can wait for the next draft 😉 — this is one of the large peaks all the other little peaks have been building up to. Or, at least, that’s what I hope is happening. I’ll probably find a lot of troughs in the next reading. But that’s what revision is for, right?

Anyhoo, the closer we get to this peak, the slower progress is becoming. And this is due to character guilt.

Bad things happen on this peak. Necessary things, yes, but bad. And they happen to characters I happen to like quite a bit. So I’m feeling guilty. I know I will find the end of this scene very emotional (don’t look at me like that! I’m not strange!).

Hence the slow down. Today, however, I have to take the plunge. I have to start down a dark road knowing full well what happens on the other side. This is, for me at least, the good and the bad about first drafts. Because I’m trying just to get the story down, to let the writing do what it wants and fix it all up later, I am so much more involved. I come out of my writing sessions exhausted, exhilarated, and emotional.

Yeah, I know. These people aren’t real. They’re only in my head. But I feel for them, I feel with them. And this is going to hurt.

10 comments

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  1. Graham

    “I feel for them, I feel with them. And this is going to hurt.”

    That’s one of the things that makes your writing so good. If you didn’t care about your characters, I don’t suppose we would either.

  2. Rabia

    I hear you. I always want to spare my characters pain. One reason why my fantasy is not very dark at all!

  3. Joanne

    Thanks Graham :) I certainly hope so! Wouldn’t want to go through all this for nothing.

  4. Joanne

    Oh, I dunno, Rabia. You do some nasty things to your characters too!! 😀

  5. terry

    We know the feeling. How can we do this stuff to people we have spent so long with, possibly even years? You’re a good writer, Joanne, and your feelings come through to make your work stronger.
    terry

  6. Joanne

    Thanks Terry. This is why writing buddies are so important! We understand each other :)

  7. j-a brock

    and let’s face it, this is what makes books interesting to read! if it was all about good stuff, it would be boring! your feelings will give the scene authenticity and really get to your reader emotionally.

  8. Rabia

    Oh, that’s just my Evil Twin. Sometimes she manages to hack into my computer and messes about in my stories. She’s just such a wannabe. 😉

  9. Janette

    Ha! Just because they only exist in your head, does that make them any less real? Hmm? (sorry, just started channelling William Hartnell’s Dr Who…) But seriously, DOES IT?

  10. Joanne

    Hey, I’m happy to go with that theory 😀

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