♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
What was your hardest scene to write?
Welcome back to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop! If you’re new to the series, the authors included are grateful for your reads and appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Be prepared to become a regular reader.
Write what you know. That’s the number one piece of advice a new writer will hear. It’s because it will help your work retain authenticity, which makes it relatable and likeable for readers. A lot of what you know is what a lot of other people know, too. If you’re writing in a genre and you happen to be an expert in a related field to that topic, the writing will be that much easier for you, and it will be authentic and believable. That said, it doesn’t make crafting a well-told story any easier.
The hardest scenes I’ve written are those of which I know too well. The balance between showing and telling can experience greater blurring. The expertise can make it harder to know what goes without saying and what needs more detail. And, then, there are those topics that can trigger memories of trauma. Those are the hardest I’ve ever written, because you must relive the moments that caused the trauma in order to get it on paper. It’s triggering. It’s painful. While you might be able to fool yourself in the day to day about how far you’ve come in healing, facing the ghosts of the past once more gives you a real measure of your progress.
When I penned the first drafts of Trailokya, I penned all three books one after the other over the winter break before I graduated from my Master’s program. It was well past time to do so. I had written it as screenplay back in about 2005-6. I figured I would get to the larger work at some point, but the script could serve as an outline, and if I had an opportunity to shop the idea around, then I had something to shop to interested investors. I avoided the more painful details that would come into those books at that time, because I was not at all ready to write them. This had to do with fear of what others might say and the fear of having to accept things in my past as real events. Though they were behind me, some events of my past made my present difficult. To this day, there are things I am unwilling to speak about, own, or discuss outside of my closest friends. It’s further likely that I will go to my grave without owning any of it more than I have at this point. It simply does not serve me to do so, not with the behavior others have shown toward those with my similar experiences.
That said, even fictionalizing and adapting the multitude of experiences I’ve been privy to (either personal or public) can be triggering. Writing suffering, and having it hit so close to the reality, that is difficult. It dredges up far too much, and when the body and mind have been traumatized there is a reaction to such things, a reaction to protect one’s self.
After writing a particularly difficult scene, I told my friend that I was deeply exhausted and even frightened, all over again. It felt so close to the experience that my mind was struggling to remind me that I was in a good place, safe and sound. Somehow, I feel that is proof enough that despite the difficulty, I created something powerful. Now, when I go through trying to finalize the last in the trilogy, even when I was completing the edits on books one or two, I tense up in anticipation of the uncomfortable.
Writing this truth has been the hardest. I’ve written about Victorian Era men serving in the military, having done my due diligence on historical research. I have done the same with American and German characters during the terrors of World War II. Yet, those characters who were like me, in modern times, who have basis in mythology and fantasy, because their lives held experiences I knew, I found them the most difficult to write. I had to survive them, and what I had learned, who I had become, and to stare into the face of it through the entire project. I married made up stories with truths, and I struggled to get that to the page. I struggle still, wondering if releasing this into the world was ever the right thing to do.
Let’s hop on over and see where the other authors have struggled and why. Click one of the links below to continue the hop.