Ah winter. You come in and trash the place with no apologies. This winter in
New England has been torturous to say the least. Over 40 inches of snow so far and we’re not done. The snow banks are so high it’s been like driving through dirty clouds-you’re not sure what’s around the bend and you can only hope there isn’t a car or pedestrian there in your blind path. Winter has made going up and down my steep, mountain-like driveway feel like bumper bowling; my car is the bowling ball and the driveway is as slippery as the lane. Winter makes me become reclusive because the weather is so not worth the frustration. But it’s New England, and year after year we gripe about this. If we truly hated it, we’d have moved already, so I’ll end my rant.
Lots going on inside and outside of my head lately, both creatively and actually-a very mobile baby, a husband I rarely see thanks to his job and commute, issues with friends, family drama, and of course, the snow. What does that mean for my sequel? It means its taking a dark and crazy turn.
Not that I insert my real-life situations in my writing (I write realistic fiction, not fiction based on reality), but when I’m having issues or difficulties, it’s only natural my protagonist, Lexi, may suffer too. Why? Because she’s real to me, and all people have their issues. I create issues to keep her real. So if I’m feeling lonely and Lexi’s surrounded by friends and family, I don’t feel like I’m writing realistically. I like to write close to my feelings, but only to the point where I can connect and relate. When I read fiction, I still want to escape my own world and slip into the story, after all.
I don’t need my feelings to drive my writing forward (I can write a novel without an ounce of my feelings making their way in, like an actor can successfully portray a character without ever experiencing any of that character’s life or emotions as their own), but certain moods/emotions can help make a good story better. If I get completely out of my own head, sure, I could write a whole realistic story based on rainbows and clouds and end it with happily-ever-after, but that would be boring to me. I love real, visceral, believable stories. And the same works in reverse. If Lexi (or any protagonist I create) is experiencing something I may not have, I find a way to get to her level and feel how she feels in a form of method acting.
I believe Reality TV is hugely successful because people want to escape their own reality without leaving reality. It’s also why tabloids sell and paparazzi exist. We want to be immersed in other people’s lives and dramas, even when some of it is scripted to amp it up. To end my babbling, I’m saying a big part of my creativity is intertwined with my emotions. I’m feeling dark, lost, conflicted, raw and emotional, so if I start writing out my sequel today, it’s going down that same path-tons of (good) drama, raw emotions and dark, twisty mental places, very afflicted. The scenes I’ve compiled and the dialogue I’ve written thus far can be in line with these feelings. And I have a feeling my readers will love every word of it.
Music may inspire me, but my emotions drive me.