I’m sure most people have heard of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG), but this is the first time I’ve taken part. The purpose, as stated in the IWSG website, is: 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!
As writers it’s only natural that our personality influences our work. I’m not talking about the voice every writer hones, I’m talking about the little quirks that, at times, can be a detriment to the story.
Take my obsession with happy endings. I know that bad things happen, that people suffer loss and deal with pain but, in the end, I still find myself hoping for the happily ever after. I know it’s unrealistic, but I can’t help being a sucker for a good survival story and often, I use fiction as a way to escape everyday life. The only problem is, this translates to my work.
In my latest WIP, a character has just been mortally wounded and I can’t bring myself to write his final scene. This, in part, is because I love my characters and I’ll feel the loss. But it’s also that, deep down, I want it to end differently. Not me the writer, but me the hopeless romantic who just wants everyone to be happy. I know it sounds crazy, and I’m exaggerating to make a point, but it’s no less true. And the fact remains, if I change it, I’m not doing justice to the work, or my responsibilities as a storyteller.
I deal with some tricky issues in my latest novel. This time it’s human trafficking and it put me through the ringer. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling a little sensitive about the subject. It’s bound to have an affect.
I’ll write the scene eventually. I’ve done it before. In one of my earlier stories, a character died in the first few chapters. I accepted this. It made sense to the story, though it made me sad. Later, when I learned more about the character through the eyes of his family and friends, I wanted to go back and rewrite it – to bring him back (if only we could do that in real life). I didn’t. I resisted. But the fact remains, my natural compulsions can often mess with my head.
I’m a strong believer in allowing my characters to tell the story. But they can’t do that if I interfere all the time! Like I said. I’ll write the scene eventually. It’s just something I fear. This particular short-coming is one I’m consciously be aware of. There will be others that affect the story and I don’t even realise it’s happening.
How about you? How do you handle death scenes? What kind of things affect the way you write and interfere with the process itself? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for stopping by.