Often when I sit at my computer to begin my daily routine the first hour or so is a struggle. The words I want to put down are in my head, but for some reason they don’t make it onto the screen as quickly as I would like. Perhaps it’s the distraction of my surroundings, TV, Internet —which I believe is poison for a writer— I tend to turn these off now. I tune in to twitter once a day to see what everyone is saying, or if I have something I want to share. The television stays off, I plug in my iPod and my playlist serves for motivation and at the odd time there is the one song that inspires.
I have been working on a story for the past couple of months or so, normally writing comes incredibly easy to me, but this one piece of work has been a struggle. I have read and reread the first four chapters and hate them, I start to rewrite it because I find it isn’t flowing how I would like. The MC is coming off as insensitive and immature, this isn’t how I want her to come across. She will go through a lot in the story, will have to make decisions that will not only affect her but a very small group of people. Anyway, nothing seems to be going right, the story is off somehow and I needed to fix it . Finally reaching the end of my rope I decided to give up on it, the story wasn’t going where I wanted it to go, or rather I didn’t know how put it in the direction I wanted to go, so I stopped.
Sometimes though giving up might be just what a writer needs to get back on track. We all hear how the characters in their stories quite literally don’t leave them alone and so on, well that’s just what happened to me, my MC wanted her story told and therefore she was not going to let me just give up. Yesterday I sat at my lap top, closed off any distractions, blogger, twitter and T.V. and started to write. The words flowed, the story began to get told the way it should have been told from the get go, we read blogs about where a story should start all the time right? Well let me tell you the beginning is not always the beginning of the story, if you get what I am saying. sometimes the beginning of a novel is the middle of the story. So, this was the problem with my WIP, I was starting it in the wrong place, I wanted the story to be told without revealing too much in the beginning, but sometimes you must tell in order to begin he showing process. I have such and emotional connection with this MC and with the story that when I started the story over in the way I felt it should be told, the process had me in tears. I was genuinely moved because I was feeling the story, I felt the MC frustrations, anger and to an extent her loss. 10k words later I like to think am on the right track.
How emotionally connected are you with characters? Have you ever had an experience where the story completely overwhelmed you? How so?