Feeling It…Or Not

This week is crazy-busy with dayjob business and a little fun Wednesday night – 30 Seconds to Mars at the House of Blues in Orlando. I’m terribly excited for this concert. I fell in love with the band about a year or so ago, while writing my first novel. Their newest album could be the soundtrack for the third book, which has been started but put on the back burner.
Right now, I’m working on fleshing out the new PURPOSE. It’s funny how things have evolved since I first decided to write fiction again. I started with a character sketch and free-writing and it grew out of control, like a snowball during the Snowpocalypse. The first scene I wrote, which was just as an exercise, became the basis for what will be the new PURPOSE. It’s nothing like it was then. The characters didn’t even have names yet and now their story has changed almost completely, but the premise remains.
As it started coming to me, I realized I needed to know the story behind the story. It was originally just for my own benefit, but so much happened that I needed it for the rest of the “real” story to make sense. So, it became Part I. And now it has become PROMISE, a book by itself. I see PROMISE as a prologue to the rest of the series, though it is an interesting, fun, romantic and exciting tale of its own.
In PROMISE, Alexis starts at eighteen, fresh out of high school, relatively naïve and innocent. By the end, she’s twenty and “all grown up.” PURPOSE picks up later and she’s in the middle of a personal crisis. It’s an extremely emotional time for her and the first ten (or a hundred) times I went through this part, I felt just as emotionally caught up in it and was drained by the time I pushed through it. Even when it had set for a month or more, I’d still feel the emotional turmoil she was going through when I went back to it.
Now it’s set for nearly two months while I’ve been busy preparing PROMISE for publication. And I’m having a hard time getting caught up in the chaos of her life. I think it’s because my own life is so chaotic right now, but in a good way, where in hers, it’s not so good. I’m too distracted to immerse myself fully into her head and heart.
For now, it’s okay. By being able to look at it more objectively, I’m able to see what scenes can be or need to be moved around, expanded, heightened, etc., to create the full plot and character arcs for a book. Being able to add 30,000 words to a manuscript is like putting me in a candy store. I’m a (not-so-recovering) wordaholic. I usually have to cut, cut, cut. Now I get to add, add, add. But just because I get to write so many new, shiny words, doesn’t mean every single one doesn’t need to count. So, being able to view the story from this distant perspective is a good thing. For now.
I just hope when it comes to actually writing those new words I can re-enter Alexis’s mind and heart. I made my first readers cry. I want to make them cry harder…not yawn or (gasp!) throw the book down out of annoyance or boredom. They need to feel what she is feeling, which means I must feel it first.
Have you ever found yourself not quite feeling the intensity that is necessary for the task at hand? It doesn’t even have to be writing or revising. Various areas of our lives and jobs require different levels of emotions and involvement. What do you do to become more immersed in the moment or situation? How do you put yourself in the right emotional and mental state?
*Image found here: http://dark.pozadia.org/wallpaper/Emotional-Darkness/ 
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3 Responses to Feeling It…Or Not

  1. I am so jealous! Adore 30 Seconds to Mars :). Have tons of fun!

    And, to answer your question, I’ve felt lackluster about plenty, including writing. If I’m just being lazy, I force myself to get through. If I’m really not feeling it, I do something else. The brick wall continues to stand and I see no reason to bash my head against it unless absolutely necessary.

  2. Crystal Cook says:

    I love, love, love 30 seconds to mars!!!!! I am so jealous you get to go, I mean in a happy for you way 🙂 I discovered them 3 years ago and I love everything they play.

    I think it’s amazing that you have felt such strong emotions with your writing! Sometimes I feel like I don’t feel it enough. But just to try and get back in the groove I try something new. Even if it’s a small thing.

  3. Alys says:

    <3 the artwork… chrissi was telling me about it and can’t wait to see it on a book!!!
    You will work on Alexis and making us cry when the timing is right. It may not be in your time, but in hers 🙂
    You are wonderfully talented and I can’t wait to read Promise!

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