Channelling emotions

Quietly, step by step, the first draft of Age of Opppression is taking shape. My goal is to finish the first draft by the end of the year – which feels like a tall order at the moment especially as the section I’m working on is particularly challenging.

It isn’t that it is especially tricky to write from a technical perspective. What I am grappling with is a series of scenes in which my main characters are experiencing some highly charged emotions.

It had to come. Allin, one of the main character from the previous books, is now in his teens and struggling to become his own man. Dale, in loco parentis, finds that all a bit irritating (and he doesn’t have the most even of tempers himself). Then, in the midst of that, comes a disaster – and it is inevitable that their relationship has to suffer. So I’ve got inflict a range of strong emotions on them both – and on those around them.

As a writer, to describe emotions does rather require one to feel them (just to be able to find the words) and that can be quite a turbulent experience. An hour of writing a blazing row can lead me to then going out and picking a fight with someone (don’t mess with me  today Mr Tele-marketer!!). Deep despair can leave me thinking I can’t do anything and ready to give up on my dreams. Guilt has me raking up all those things I could have done, or should have done, or wish I hadn’t done. Anger, pain, frustration, loss… I run the gauntlet of them all.

It’s exhausting and I know of no way round it. It is the means by which I write. Without feeling the pain, I wouldn’t be able to describe it. Earnest Hemmingway had it right:

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed

Be nice to me if I seem to be a bit emotinal this week…

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