I’ve been working away on the sequel, And All the Kings Men and I divulged a little secret to my husband. I literally cried writing a scene earlier this week (I’m not telling what made me so sad…not even if you beg).
My husband kind of laughed and said “You already know what’s going to happen so why would you cry?” Good question.
I may know what happens, but sometimes when I get to a particularly sad scene I still get a little choked up, especially when the main characters are involved (you really want to know now don’t you?). I see the scene playing out in my head and I feel like I’ve done my job with the scene if I can make myself cry…lol.
The other reason I get emotional when writing is that although the characters are completely fictitious they’ve become a part of my own family in a way. Sometimes I’m spending more time with them each day than my real family (especially when I need to write 3,000 words in a day to meet the deadline..eek). I know their favorite colors, favorite foods, hobbies, books…I could go on. They’ve taken on their own personalities and I could tell how each one of them would answer the same question in their own way.
I enjoy spending time in their world and I care about what happens to them (even sometimes I don’t know how it’s going to turn out until my hands type out the words). So, occasionally I get a little emotional when something sad, happy or funny happens to them.
Once I explained this to my husband, he got it immediately. He told me if the scene could make ME cry, then imagine how emotional it could make someone reading it. That’s what I’m betting on…that as a reader you become as invested in Casper, Cal and the rest of the characters that you find yourself crying, rejoicing or laughing along with them.
Call me crazy, but I think that kind of emotion makes a story worth telling and a story worth reading.
Here’s the song I was listening to as I wrote said sad scene. (I’m driving you crazy aren’t I?)
Hey everyone! Go check out Brittany’s very cool blog Yellow Umbrella and her review of The Kings of Charleston. She’s a freelance graphic designer with some amazing designs (click here for her online store) and she loves to read.
She’s also giving away an ebook copy of The Kings of Charleston, so hurry and sign up to win a copy!
I write in the genre normally referred to as YA or Young Adult and sometimes I think I’ve lost my mind. Having to think like a high school student is not the easiest thing in the world when you no longer are one. I don’t always know what the latest lingo or fad is, but the more I write YA the more I realize those things don’t necessarily matter.
Deep down high school problems aren’t that different from adult problems. As a teenager we worried about whether a girl/guy liked you, if were part of the “in” crowd or the best at whatever you excelled at whether it be a sport or class. That doesn’t change when we grow up in my opinion. We still struggle with those issues. Or if you didn’t care what people thought of you in high school that mentality seems to carry over into adulthood. If you were in the middle of all the drama in high school that’s probably where you’ll still be in the workplace.
Teenage problems aren’t that different and often teenagers are a lot more grown up than we give them credit for being. There were several agents who felt my writing tended to be more in the adult genre than young adult despite my teenage protagonist. That’s their opinion and they are entitled to it, but I’m entitled to disagree. The more YA I read, the more I came to the conclusion that teenagers aren’t any different than adults.
They struggle with their emotions and often leave them on their sleeves, but I can count as many adults who do the same thing (myself could be included). Teenagers want the coolest cars, clothes and electronics. They want to know they are loved, and don’t always know the right way to get what they want. That’s nothing unusual from our own adult wants. I think the only defining characteristic between YA and Adult is as an adult we have some wisdom that comes with time. The problems don’t change, but sometimes our reaction to them do. As an adult we can come across familiar situations and we know from experience what not to do in a way a teenager may not.
So, after a lot of thought I don’t think I’m crazy after all. Writing YA isn’t much different other than my character may be facing a problem for the first time and I get to go back and think about what it was like to experience something as if it were new. First love, first kiss, first heartbreak.
It’s a challenge, but that’s what keeps me writing and hopefully keeps you reading.