Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

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Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

Post by esther » December 26th, 2009, 6:50 am

Who said writing was fun? (If you’re out there, I’d love to meet you and snag a few tips!!)

For me, it’s pretty much PURE PAIN. Not in the sense that I have a horrible plot and I hate having to replot every other day, or that I don’t enjoy stringing together words to create meaning. But the emotional part is really bogging me down. Kind of like I’m putting my kids (I don’t have kids, but poor mommies out there if they’re having this problem) through the horror I plotted.

It’s pretty severe, because a few nights ago, right before I fell asleep, I could hear my heroine's voice screaming at me, “Why are you putting me through all this?"

Eerie? It shook the drowsiness right out of me!

Anyone else??
Last edited by esther on December 26th, 2009, 11:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

Post by Crystal » December 26th, 2009, 9:39 am

I guess I am having the same problem. I am trying to write a particularly gruesome scene of my story and I keep avoiding it. Partly because I am having a hard time getting into the villains head and partly because I don't like what I am doing to my heroine.
Working my very first attempt at a mystery novel. 1st draft

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Re: Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

Post by CharleeVale » December 26th, 2009, 2:55 pm

I understand completely what you're going through. It is essential to my plot that the male lead have his hand cut off. I squirmed about for days before writing it, and I cried while I actually wrote it. Are character are very much like our children, because we watch them grow.

That being said, I also love when I get to do something great for my characters, when they finally end up being happy!


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Re: Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

Post by shadow » December 26th, 2009, 6:50 pm

Yes guys I have, yet the events that my main character goes through change him to be a better person. even though I cried when I wrote the last scene of him being almost fataly wounded by the his mortal enemy (also his brother) they only find out after he is wounded though...Yes we love our characters too much.
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Re: Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

Post by Mira » December 28th, 2009, 12:48 am

For me - part of the pain is going to places inside myself. I honestly don't know, sometimes, if I should go there. I have one short story I've been sitting on for years because it's so......horrible. And I have another short story in my mind about a serial child rapist. I'm shrinking from it.

I'm not sure if some places are better left unexplored, or if it's good to go to the depths. I know I don't want to - the question is - should I? Maybe I'll post this as a separate question sometime.

In terms of overall writing pain, my greatest pain is feeling blocked. Otherwise, when it flows, the writing is pure joy. Especially when I'm writing humor. It's wonderful fun. :)

Good post - really interesting. Thanks.

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Re: Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

Post by Holly » December 28th, 2009, 2:18 am

For me, the pain is thinking I'm done with The Novel From Hell and finding out I need to revise it again... it's kind of like a doctor saying I need my 145th brain surgery.

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Re: Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

Post by Kaitlyne » December 29th, 2009, 12:25 am

Is this your first book? I know with my first book I was the same. The MC's son was hit by a car at one point, and I actually limited his injuries because I couldn't bring myself to actually nearly kill him. Thing is, the story needed it, and it took ages to bring myself to do it. Now I don't really mind and can do it without second thought--for the most part. As long as I know in advance it's coming, I'm cool with it. The things that take me by surprise are the worst. I think this is partly because if I know I'm killing off a side-character, for instance, I don't really get attached. My readers might be shocked and horrified at me for doing it, but if I always knew they were going to die, it's much easier for me to write. I do have a hard time with certain things, and I tend to cry for my characters, but those parts are usually the most emotional and moving and some of the best in the book so I actually tend to like those parts. Wow, that sounds sadistic, doesn't it? Typically, though, if I can write a scene that still makes me cry after reading it through five times, I typically feel like I've done a good job lol. ;)

Anyway, I do enjoy writing, even those scenes for the most part. I'm sure I have limits, but I haven't crossed them yet. I think it's just because I've been doing this for so long now. :)

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Re: Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

Post by J.Jessamyn » December 29th, 2009, 12:34 pm

Mixed emotions across the board, definitely.

I like imagining and coming up with the story, but I don't like the process of typing it out. While it's an awesome feeling to see my musings in actual words, the typing thing gets very tedious after a while. And editing... *shudder*

But I do love to reread my story and remember that I was the one who did all of that. Hard to believe it sometimes...
~J. Jessamyn~

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Re: Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

Post by kristi » December 29th, 2009, 2:07 pm

This question made me laugh. I'd say the 1st draft is pure ecstasy for me - it's just fun. The revision process has had some pure pain moments - right now I'm reading the entire thing aloud which is tedious but will hopefully be worthwhile. I do have small kids so everything is done in the space between their bedtime and when I fall into my exhaustion coma.

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Re: Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

Post by JenLT » December 29th, 2009, 7:04 pm

I often get emotional when I am writing, but then again I have been known to cry when I read something sad. I think it is necessary--for me, anyway--to feel those emotions when I am writing in order to hopefully evoke them in a reader. If I wasn't upset when something horrible happened to a character, I don't know that I could write it well enough to get an emotional response from anyone else. The same with happiness. I find it much harder to write light or happy scenes when I am in a bad mood.

I agree with other comments that part of the agony of writing is editing. :)

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Re: Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

Post by DSL » December 30th, 2009, 3:45 pm

Both. It depends what I'm writing. When writing picture/chapter books, it's pure ecstasy. Well, not quite pure, but 90% is close enough. Right? Although when I sit down to work on my very personal adult, nonfiction piece, it's so utterly painful I have to step away from it for weeks--sometimes months--to recharge. THAT manuscript is kept on a different computer, in a cold, shadowy corner of the house. It's a struggle to add elements of humor, too, but if I don't, no one will read the blasted thing!

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Re: Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

Post by Terry Towery » December 30th, 2009, 4:26 pm

Good question. I just wrote a blog post about this earlier this week! My recently finished (and first, I might add) ms was both very dark and very personal. I ended up drawing a lot from my childhood and adult life to form the crux of my main character's angst (nice, huh, that I must serve in that capacity?).

It was pure hell while writing it. By the end of the day, I often found myself in the depths of a true depression. My wife worried about me. Hell, I worried about me. But when I finished it, it was pure ecstasy! Talk about cathartic!

I swore I was going to write something lighter this time around and did -- for about 13,000 words. Then, I shelved that puppy and started another dark, personal book. In the words of John Cougar Mellencamp (or whatever his name is now): "It hurts so good."

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Re: Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

Post by MedleyMisty » January 3rd, 2010, 8:37 pm

Pure unadulterated ecstasy.

In my current story, everyone dies in the end. I've already killed off three characters, including the main character's boyfriend, and in an update or two the story is going to end with the death of both the heroine and villain and then an epilogue narrated by the villain's granddaughter will wrap it up.

I love my characters. They live with me in my head all the time. My villain has an entire music library dedicated to him - my fans often suggest new songs for it. I think about their lives outside of the story a lot and what they're like and who they are and I am planning on writing more stories with the same four main characters in the future.

And when I am writing about their pain and isolation and angst I am on the purest high I can imagine.

It doesn't feel as if I made my characters up or as if I am putting them through predetermined plot hoops. It feels like Valley is something outside of myself, something that is using me to manifest itself. I am learning who the characters are as I go on their journey with them. Perhaps that gives me some psychological distance?

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Re: Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

Post by Aimée » January 9th, 2010, 12:04 am

I have these two main characters in my WIP and I know them so well and love them so much! They both have to die near the end, or else the story's point is totally changed and not what I want to say. One of them is a hypocrite sort of, and the other character's death is sort of his fault, so I've actually written his death scene a few times because it's kind of fun torturing him and all. :) But the other one is so great and I can't even bring myself to writing his death scene or many scenes after it, even though I have exactly how and why he dies in my mind. He is such a good person, but he can't live or else everything in the story would be altered completely, and the other characters would not be changed if he didn't.
I know that both main characters have to die, but I would never call writing a pain. Yes it's really really hard, but it's so worth it when you read it and you are satisfied.

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Re: Pure Pain or Pure Ecstasy??

Post by fionaw » January 9th, 2010, 7:11 pm

The emotional journey of my curent WIP is tough, but it's partly because I have a tendency to use bereavement in one way or another in most of my novels. What has been spookier this time is that because I'm writing something very contemporary, which is loosely based on real events, my MC feels very real. This is to the extent that when I was in a restaurant a couple of months ago I suddenly realised I was waiting for him to walk in and sit across the table from me. I kept expecting to look up and see him all the time, and became really confused between reality and the story.

I got very resentful at being constantly dragged back to the real world, which made things very hard in my day job. I do tend to get this twin-reality thing when I write, but this was the most intense it has ever been, and it's only started to wear off in the last few weeks.

The other agony tends to be the last 10-20K of a manuscript (I write quite tight, and tend not to need to cut) when I've got a beginning, middle and end, but realise some scenes are way too short and dialogue is missing beats and internal monologue.

Rewrites from editors? Don't even ask - that email only arrived yesterday!

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