Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blood and Guts Exposed

I mentioned literary blood and guts in an earlier post. But it's too important not to mention again. In fact this time a young acquaintance of mine, an aspiring writer, told me how her life is boring and that's how she likes to keep it. She wants to save the excitement for her stories!

It's true that the excitement of unexpected trouble is excitement we'd love to avoid in real life.
Yet it's the emotion that trouble creates that I need to foist on my story's characters.

And my current story is balking. Why? I know my characters are in emotional hell in the middle of the story - a good place for a character to be - at least in a novel. But just past the beginning where I'm stuck again, well things are just too safe and easy. There's no blood. No character has strewn their heart or guts across the page. I've got to let my characters roam as free in the early pages as they do in the middle. It's time to forget word counts, tight phrases and witty endings. It's free range. And if they over dramatize right now, that's okay, that's how they feel. All that emotion will eventually soak into other pages and spread that drama around.
Because in the end it's all about an emotion fed story - that's romance.

Isn't it?
Passport to Romance


Anonymous said...

In my current WIP, my characters are right in line with yours. No intrigue or suspense with the stakes out of the ballpark. They're not feeling enough pain to make the reader ask "how is so-and-so going to get out of this mess?" I think an emotionally charged beginning will keep the middle padded with the excitement and intrigue a story needs.

Ryshia Kennie said...

I totally agree. Give those characters some trauma!

Dog_geek said...

Wow, I don't know if I would have what it takes to be a good writer. Do you ever feel bad or guilty about making your characters suffer?

Ryshia Kennie said...

It's funny you should mention that, dg. I felt bad just recently and almost reconsidered the "bad thing" I inflicted on my character. But it is a romance and in the end I'll give her a "happy ending." So maybe it all works out.

Teresa said...

That's the problem in the current novel I'm reading. I'm about halfway through and I'm getting bored! This is not the usual with this particular author. I need something to happen right now or I'm going to go crazy! I'm actually getting mad at the characters...weird...