Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Painful Side Effects of Writing

Let me preface this by saying that I do not mean to Method Write.  For those not familiar with the term, it is taken from the idea of "method acting."  Basically, the writer uses various techniques to create in themselves in themself the thoughts and emotions of their characters in order to write more lifelike scenes.  Again, I did not mean to do this...

But I realized recently that, while my character was coping with rationed food, I had unintentionally dropped ten pounds.  What the heck?!  Ten pounds in two weeks.  Seriously.

Then last night, after writing some serious abandonment scenes for a character of mine, I ended up having a series of increasingly disturbing dreams centered around abandonment.  Go figure.  I recently read someone-or-other said something-or-other about Make it worse for your characters because it will show the reader what they are made of.  So, I have been busy making it worse. 

I guess that my subconscious picked up on that and decided to make my dreams get worse and worse all night long. Thank goodness for my cat, who woke me up with an awkward poke as if to say, "There, there, human...you can shut up now."

Imagine this without the creepy horse head, and with the dreamer having short red hair,
and a big black cat on my chest instead of an incubus...well, you get the idea.

Maybe it is "Character Karma."  (I don't think so, since I just made it up.)  But what if all the bad things I do to my characters will be revisited on me...?  Okay, I am not going there.  Even the thought of that freaks me out.

Ahem, where was I?

Oh, right...so, I am ten pounds lighter, I am sleep deprived, and my cat thinks I am a nut case.  I do, however, have nearly 50,000 words to show for my efforts, and I am pushing 300 pages!  I am in the home stretch.  (Knocking on wood.)

I have two beta readers reading now, and another beta reader in the wings waiting for me to finish before she starts reading (this will allow me to have staggered feedback and, hopefully, keep the progress moving).  In case I have not mentioned it lately, I love my beta readers and I can't wait to get more feedback.

In the meantime, I might stock up on Ambien...and vegan chocolate...and really good bread...to help counter these painful side effects of writing.