Justified but no less difficult

The scene that was impossible for me to justify where I originally meant to place it, has finally been written, finding a home in an earlier chapter. While it is certainly justifiable, it is also despicable. Even though I knew it was going to happen, and had prepared myself for it, it is hard to let your character do something bad. Granted, if I didn’t, well I wouldn’t much of an author. I met the incredible author Steve Berman, a few months ago, and we talked about a book of his I’ve read several times. He said he is often asked whether he would write a sequel to it (I actually like that he didn’t as it ends so satisfactorily) and he said he couldn’t as anything he did, would just cause the narrator more pain and grief.  At the time, I agreed, but I didn’t fully understand what he meant until today.

Most of the fiction I wrote was short, so the problems never had particularly high stakes, or, if they did, you hadn’t spent pages and pages investing in the character, so readers were still far enough removed that the pain was easier to handle. Now that I’ve written this scene in the novel, I can see that there is still more pain to come, but am also aware that there will be an end to it. That said, it is still incredibly difficult to put my characters through all this, which means my writing has been slower as of late.

While part of me is lamenting the pains for my character, the author inside me is celebrating that I’ve managed to fix what was once broken, and that the path to completion is now clear. I wonder if the reason my first attempt didn’t work out, was because I was afraid to write the truly terrible things that must occur. If so, it is my hope that in the future, I won’t shy away from them. I can see now, that the pain does have a pay off.


1 Comment

  1. rachaeldahl said,

    December 30, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Congrats on giving your character life…don’t we all, at some point do something in our life that we regret? That we have to overcome? It means your character is 3-D or human.

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