Thursday, July 7, 2011

In this case, art imitates life

Monday, as you might recall, was the fourth of July. Nathan was with his dad and Casey was with friends, so it was just my dog Karma and me here at home. To keep my mind off my solitude, I threw myself into my normal routine - morning pages, gym, writing, beading, Etsy, blogging - and tried to pretend that it was just another day. I might have actually pulled it off, too, except it just so happened that the scene of my novel in line for revision was Christmas Eve, which my heroine spends alone and bereft.

It was absolutely heartbreaking.

I considered skipping ahead to New Year's Eve - which turns out to be a much better day for my cherished character - but I decided instead to slog my way through the misery, make an effort to get in touch with the feelings I was experiencing and use them in my work. In the end, I think that was the right thing to do; it was cathartic to really feel my feelings - as opposed to burying them, like I usually do - and there is no doubt that my writing is richer as a result.

Writers, to what extent do you funnel your real-life feelings and experiences into  your work?

*****

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8 comments:

AllMyPosts said...

Read your article about your dog on LIPP!! Karma is awesome!!

with warm regards
Another Author

Pam Asberry said...

Thanks, Abhishek! I would have missed out on a lot if I had stuck with my assertion that "I am a cat person." Sometimes it pays to be open to new possibilities. Thank you for stopping by!

S.M. Carrière said...

I know what you mean, Pam. It can be something of a cathartic release when we dig into our darker emotions.

And yes, I do pour a great deal of my own emotion into situations I write about.

The main character of my current series, for example, is a brooding, melancholic sort of man who grew up feeling unloved, unwanted and completely isolated.

While I've never been at that extreme, I think everyone who has ever been a teenager (and, like me, suffers from depression) can relate.

It's funny how much of myself I do put into my books.

Pam Asberry said...

That's interesting, S.M. I think a lot of us writers have a dark, brooding side, regardless of the face we present to the world. But it's useful to dig into that as we create our characters, to help us make them multi-dimensional and real. Thank you for sharing your experience!

Anonymous said...

Yes, my fourth could have been a lot less lonely - HAD I KNOWN!

Pam Asberry said...

Dear Anonymous,
Since I don't know who you are, I don't exactly know what to say. Except here's hoping for a better fourth of July for both of us NEXT year!
Pam

Julee J. Adams said...

You know I put a lot of things from my life in my characters' lives, good and bad. I sometimes play a little game, truth or fiction? And your scene was better than the one I wrote the other day, where I had to kill off a much beloved character. *sigh* That was rough.
You know, it's okay to spend some time alone, not only because it gives you fiction fodder, it gives you a chance to find you and get centered. And you weren't really alone, you had The Awesome Karma! Natasha often gets up right by my leg when I have the laptop going, then gives me the Elvis Snarl when I have to move my legs.
Enjoy this week!

Pam Asberry said...

Julee, it was actually kind of nice to be in the house alone - it's a relatively rare event for me. The thing that made it painful was that it was a holiday, and I wasn't alone by choice. But you are right - I wasn't REALLY alone, thanks to the indomitable Karma! I am crazy about my dog! :-)