Bleeding on the page

Dear Reader,

Life has been rather rough on me lately, testing my character in ways I never expected. I have been terrified, startled, shocked, ashamed, depressed, angry, despairing, hopeful, and ultimately, numb. I have struggled with facing adversity and prejudice when it slapped me in the face, and trembled when tempted with something I wanted so badly but couldn’t have because it didn’t belong to me. When it came down to it, I lost my grip on reality and retreated into my mind, seeming somber to others while fighting my way out of the battle with my demons.

In the end, my writing is what made me victorious. I channeled my emotions into Tempest, my character from The Rebel’s Hero (hereafter named The Rebel’s Touch). When she felt confused and conflicted, I dove into my mind and pulled out the core of my own confusion and conflict. When she was angry, I referenced my fears that made me angry.

Writing is so much more than a job to me. I need it to cope with my life events. This past week, one of the worst I’ve had to deal with in years, was a startling wake-up call. My best writing comes from moments of despair and frustration, which kind of scares me a little.

Do I have to be unhappy to write well? I hope not. That doesn’t lend to a healthy emotional life. Nor does it lend to a sustainable writing career. But these intense moments of emotion which run roughshod over my lens of the world seems to open the very vein I need to bleed words onto the page. That raw emotion which tugs at heartstrings and makes people think of their own heartbreak. Anyway, after not writing for a little over a week, I poured almost two thousand words yesterday in a sort of daze.

It is an understatement to say the activity was cathartic. I wasn’t writing or talking or thinking about me anymore and how I was feeling. I was talking about Tempest, her issues, her emotions, her conflict. These weren’t my problems, they were hers. I was just the objective observer, feeling sorry for her plight and not being able to help in any way other than to be a friendly ear.

Am I the only one who approaches writing fiction like this? Is it unhealthy for me to write like this, or is it healthy because I get the emotions out without hurting anyone else in the process?

The Rebel’s Touch

As mentioned earlier in the post, buried somewhere in a paragraph I mentioned that The Rebel’s Hero will now be The Rebel’s Touch from now on. Why? The more I worked on it, the more I realized none of the characters are saving each other, no one is anyone’s “hero” per se. There is touching involved, though; it’s the primary plot point.Therefore, The Rebel’s Hero is henceforth The Rebel’s Touch.

Daniel needs to touch Tempest to regain memories. But he’s such a gentleman, and so shy, and so afraid of the headaches that come from recovering another memory that he’s afraid to touch her at all, even something as simple as a finger brushing the back of her hand. And Tempest has her own issues and history with not wanting to be touched… but she wants to help this man who, despite their less-than-stellar beginning, is everything she thought the ideal, impossible man should be.

Conflict. We has it.

All the best,

Belinda

* Painting by Dean McDowell, found via Tumblr

One thought on “Bleeding on the page

  1. Belinda,
    I remember when I was in high school and was in competitive public speaking. There was a poem I chose that had really dark themes. To understand my selection, I had to dig deep inside of myself and project myself into the position of the narrator. One night I sat down in front of my mirror and began an inner monologue of the emotions the character would have felt. I threw away my script and instead railed at the injustice inherent in the story and I later sat in a catatonic state unable to speak.

    After that grueling exercise, I had a greater understanding of the material and no longer felt like I was doing a mere reading. It was a performance.

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