Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Raising Lambs for the Slaughter

If there's one thing that non-writers don't get about writers (and trust me, they don't get an awful lot), it's how exhausting writing can be.
It all seems rather simple. Sit down and write. Voila! Instant story. Only that's not how it works. An author, in my opinion, has to have a certain insightfulness. They have to be empathetic. They have to be able to feel everything their characters feel, in order to do them proper justice.
And if you are an evil writer, a writer who likes to put their characters through the ringer, that can be a dangerous thing. You have to open yourself up to anger and fear and shame and all sorts of psychically draining feelings. And once you put the pen down, you need to learn how to shake off those emotions and get back to reality. This is why most authors have little strange rituals, both to help them get into the zone and to get back out of it. Everyone is unique, so what works for me, won't necessarily work for you.
The message I want to leave you with is to let go and explore these emotions as they come to you. Your story will be richer for them. But once the book is done, you need to kill those emotions, because the next step of writing--editing--needs to be as emotionless as possible. And nothing will hurt your story more than you being overly attached to it.
Remember: writing a story is an art form. Publishing a story is purely cold, calculating business.

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