Wednesday, June 1, 2022

IWSG & Crisis Scenes

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.


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Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!    

June 1 question - When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

I'm one of those people who knows the ending before I start. I write romance and I know my characters are going to work their butts off to get to that happy ever after. I know the emotions I want and how the characters have to fix themselves to get there.

My biggest struggles come when I have to write the big dark crisis moments. *sigh*

It can take me a few days to work up to writing scenes where my characters are scared and being hurt. When I was little, my parents banned my from watching Little House On The Prairie because it was often too traumatic for me.

Yup.

So, I'm basically a big ball of emotions tied together with enough grit to not fall apart in public.

To get through those difficult scenes, I let my subconscious play around with different variations until I'm ready. Then I write the scenes as quickly as I can. Once I've seen them save themselves and each other, I'm good and I can go back to revise and edit.

If I'm stuck (which doesn't happen often), I delete the last chapter and start again. I'm usually stuck because I haven't followed my gut and haven't listened to my characters.

How about you? Any other balls of emotion out there? Anyone else still devastated by the scene when Mary thought she was getting her sight back, but had been tricked by the clicks...? Anyone else need to let their characters take the lead?

42 comments:

  1. Just keep reminding yourself - they're going to be all right!

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    1. Can you imagine the mess I'd be if I wrote something with a sad ending!! :)

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  2. LOL! I get wrapped up emotionally in my stories, too. I was also not allowed to watch Lassie when I was really young because I cried every time Lassie cried.

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  3. Oh my gosh, I was traumatized by Little House On The Prairie. My parents didn't let me watch it, but I'd see it when I visited my grandmother. There was one episode where someone lost their legs?! I still think about that.

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  4. Hi Jemi, I too let my subconscious guide me when I am working on a tricky scene or a plot point that's playing difficult.

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    1. It's nice to have a hard-working subconscious!

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  5. The more I write, the more I tend to know the ending when I start. Or at least one ending. It can change as I go.

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    1. Having a destination in mind is very helpful!

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  6. Yes! When I'm stuck, I know something immediately preceding wasn't right. The only time I have to work up to a big scene is when a character dies. Doesn't matter how they die or whether their end is on the page or just news. Takes me a while to get there and once written, I speed away from that to something else.

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  7. I totally get it. I have a very soft heart (my family described it as soft butter).

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  8. I don't think I've ever known the end of something I'm writing until I'm about halfway there! Out of curiosity, how would romance readers respond if the characters *didn't* get together in the end? (but at least came out of it with some insight and self-awareness?)

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    1. Eek! I like knowing the end before I start. If the characters don't get together at the end, it's not a romance. That's our one hard & fast rule :) The story would probably fall under women's fiction then (or another genre)

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  9. It's great you figured out how to deal with the big challenge you face in writing about a character's low point. For me, it's descriptions. Sometimes I leave them out when I start writing the chapter and fill them in when I finish the chapter.

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    1. I'm the worst at descriptions! I don't have a great inner visual ability, so it's hard to remember to include them!

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  10. I start with a scene that is mostly bare bones--I wrote it the day before--then a read, and revise which gives me a writing jumpstart. Before I give it up for the day, I write another bare-bones scene. It keeps me moving forward.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. That's brilliant! I sometimes leave myself a word or two to guide me the next day, but your system would be fabulous!

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  11. Well, the subconscious does a good job. I know the end of my wip too but still I'm unable to wrap my head around the rest of the ms.
    Sonia

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    1. It's a journey to find the method that works for each of us. Took me a decade to trust in my own :)

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  12. It's amazing how different we all are as writers. And simultaneously, how many similarities unfold. I also need to know the ending of my story before I start. But I like writing crisis scenes. They are the easiest for me. The emotions drive me. It is the bland in-between, the transition scenes, that give me troubles.

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    1. This is why I love hearing how other authors work. It's fascinating to see the differences and the similarities!

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  13. Those scenes can be difficult but they come with a real sense of satisfaction, because you know you've made the story stronger.

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    1. LOL - that's what I keep telling myself. A story without conflict isn't a story!

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  14. Ball of emotions. Love it! It does get hard tangling characters because they go through so much and you just want to cradle them and tell them its going to be okay, but you really don't know. Or I don't, because my endings are out of reach when I start. Great post!

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! I want them all to be safe and happy - but they have to deal with all the crap before they get there!

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  15. Always rely on your gut! That's for sure :) I've experienced something similar too.

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  16. It's good to know why you get stuck. I don't always know and then it takes me a while to figure it out.

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    1. Being stuck can be so frustrating! I'm glad my subconscious helps me out!

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  17. I know the endings of my stories, as well. I guess I work backwards in that respect, but it does help push through traumatic/dramatic scenes, knowing the good will prevail and the evil will be punished. Yeah, I know, that only happens in fiction. 🤣

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    1. Wouldn't it be amazing to have that happen in real life as well!

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  18. I love your process. And your stories are so wonderful and uplifting.

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  19. I guess in a way I know the endings of my stories, but the details are what's killing me! And yeah, I'm kind of a softie, and have trouble throwing those obstacles in the way of my characters!

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    1. Which is why we'll probably never write thrillers! :)

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  20. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Sorry for the late reply. Dramatic scenes are tough. There's usually crying involved for me too.

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    1. No worries (ever!)
      Those are definitely the tough ones!

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  21. I typically know the general plot of my story but not necessarily the ending. The story unfolds as I write, so yes, the characters take the lead and I watch them like one wold a movie. Such a fun experience!

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth Mueller¨*•.♥

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