First there was darkness…

I’ve been thinking about violence in the context of my work in progress. I’m not sure if I’m writing something dark. I do enjoy action, but it always nags at me when there are no serious societal or psychological consequences to violence.

I’m often annoyed when movies studios cheat and present a faceless enemy. All the stunt guys wear matching uniforms and masks. If you never see their faces you won’t regret it if they die, right? Uniformed guard number 3? He hasn’t got a chance. Other times the enemy is not human (Disney, I’m looking at you). Maybe they figure if you can’t identify with it, you can’t feel bad for it.

Violence hurts, literally. I did martial arts for many years. One thing you learn is respect for your opponent, and an aversion to violence, except as a last resort. Why? Because it hurts! It bruises. You can get hurt, bones break, and you can hurt someone.

I do not believe that violence should be glorified. If it is in a story, I prefer that it should be real and painful.

On the other hand, I know some people have a low tolerance for violence. They would prefer that the grit is left out of the wounds, that blood does not splatter so widely.

What do you feel about violence in fiction? How much blood, and grit, and realism can you endure?

And then there was light…

Sunshine AwardStephen the Undiscovered Author generously passed on this sunshiney bloggy award for making his day brighter! Thanks so much! If you haven’t checked out his blog, it’s really well done, and offers insight into the life of a very busy  “writer on the way”.

These awards are meant to be shared, so I’d like to pass the sunshine to two wonderful women whose blogs never fail to make me smile, and who are always so full of encouragement: Kirstan Hoffman and Lua.


Journal, The Happy Writer

Writing a novel is a lot like being in a long term relationship. There are days when you wonder if it’s worth it all, and days when you feel like you’re the luckiest person on earth. Sometimes I fight with the story. It wants to go one way, while I want to go another, and in the end we must reach some kind of compromise.

I’ve been at an impasse with my story of late. I’m thick in the midst of the dreaded middle. I thought I’d worked through the problem, and I did make some excellent progress, but here I am stuck again.

In the meantime, I decided to cheat on my novel by spending time on a few shorts, hoping it would sow the seed of inspiration, but though they’ve been fun, I still can’t help but feel guilty about it.

What I realized was that I’d lost interest in the novel I’d set out to write. I’d gotten so focused on plot, fulfilling word counts, that I’d forgotten the feeling, the idea, the excitement, that spark, that set this novel into motion.

What I need to do is care again. To let the fire burn through the fear and the doubt. Deadlines are important, they keep me driving forwards at full speed, but my story is telling me to slow down and listen. I wasn’t paying attention before, but I’m listening now.

Why did I start this novel? Oh yes, I remember. I think I’m falling in love again.