Ironic? Hypocritical? Really doesn't make any sense,
Well, the fact is that most things in life that we do
end up with some sort of consequence and we always
hope for the best and never the worst.
Writers, my peers, do you know why the stereotypical
writer is a "tormented soul" fast-bound to some sort
of short life over loaded with cigarettes and whiskey?
Well, as someone once said, "we kill ourselves as the
price we pay for playing God in our creations."
Sounds epic, doesn't it? And not the Ke$ha (insert
eye roll for word-generalization) kind, but think of
it, why do we think we have to be so tortured and
As Carolyn has stated time and time again, as a writer
you are not your character. But, let me tell you, as a
writer you must ask yourself if you write for
entertainment or closure.
Sounds strange, right? Heh, maybe even freudian..?
The reason why I've boiled it down to those two areas
is because a writer who writes for entertainment is one
who is going to write for fun, think of funny/crazy and
things they find really interesting. The other kind of
writer, the bull's eye-hit or miss are those who write
as a way to cope and deal with something going on in
their life. Which is why the character(s) and story
are really awesome and powerful or... really awful
The tricky part is, figuring out how to master that
emotional vulnerability and make it detached from you.
I started out writing for fun, I had been writing dumb
little stories since I was in elementary school and
picked it up again towards the end of high school. The
thing that very few people, if any picked up on, was
that some thought I was writing about me and my
situations that were going on at the time. After all,
it was high school. When was drama not involved?
Anyway, I think you get the point, and I never knew why
someone would even think that.
After a good while I realized I was writing for closure
but not the characters as myself and the people involved,
but I wrote the situation as a way to deal with it in my
own life. I even had a professor say that she did the
same thing when her daughter had to go over seas with her
husband for work, which made her really scared.
See? We all tend to do that at some point but there is
a point in which being too involved within that self-
created coping mechanism that suffocates the story you've
already began telling. Of course that means the readers
and the story pay the price because you were too involved,
which means the story became about you and no one else
to be able to enjoy, relate, and read.
We use anything and everything in our disposal to create
our own work of art, a story, book, poem, or something
along those lines that requires creative energy and just
a little bit of our soul for art. But we should write
only what we know, right? Its the best way to be
trustworthy for the reader, but if we know dramatic and
traumatic situations then we can write about them, right?
Of course! I encourage you to do so because already
you're going to have a flow of conflict to carry the
story along. And that's what makes things interesting,
You always have to remember what your audience wants to
read, that's if you have an audience already reading your
work. If you don't have an audience yet, time to think of
what your target audience is and pull the trigger!
Being detached once you get started with your drama (in
the story of course), prevents hitting the hurdles
head-on of, "oh crap, this is me. I couldn't do these
things, why should that character do them?" Or, "this
hits too close to home... my own drama isn't over, how
can I ever wrap this story up?" Or better yet, "I give
up... why put this character through what I'm going
through. Its not fair for me and not for them."
Don't they really sound awful?
I think we've all bumped into those hurdles and really
hit the dirt and then the guilt hits us from starting
something and then axing it. Or better yet, the story
keeps going on and remains in the "planning" stages
that is itching to come forth and live.
That's why its important to remove yourself in order
to let the story flow on its own course and be the
middle-man just telling it as best you know how!
And like Carolyn has always said, no one knows your
story but you.
Now, write from the heart, tweak with your wit, and
edit with your audience in mind.
Use your drama to remove the drama in writing it!