Someone told me that the hardest part of writing was getting the character to step out of the car. The practical stuff. Moving people from one spot to another. I read that Hemingway felt the dragging slowness of writing was the hardest part. And someone else suggested the hardest part was knowing what to leave out. Or starting. Or knowing when to stop.

For me the hardest part of writing a novel is letting the characters fail, letting them fail to communicate, letting them fail to understand, letting them lose for more than a scene. It’s a novel, they work well with an arc. But when my characters hurt, particularly when they hurt because of something they did to themselves, I just want to make them all better. Right now. It turns out that doesn’t work. Not well.

2 thoughts on “

  1. katefierro says:

    For me, it’s a little bit different: I have no problem hurting my characters and making them suffer for a while through both their own actions and outside circumstances; I even enjoy twisting the knife when they least expect it (I do love the angst, what can I say…) — but only as long as I know that I’ll be able to fix it perfectly and make it all worth it in the happiest ending imaginable.
    But I’m at a point where I start to realize that “all rainbows and butterflies” is not always the best ending; that sometimes my characters will still lose little things even as they get their happy ever after (or happy for now). I start to realize that maybe the end-of-story happiness doesn’t always have to be absolute, with all the issues in the main plot and minor arcs perfectly resolved, you know? And it’s new and challenging for me, thinking of leading them into anything less than the perfect, sunshiny happiness, but I think I will. (That being said, I don’t think I could ever write a story with an unhappy ending.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. penehenson says:

    I will be so interested to read this.

    Your Love Starved had a happy ending, clearly and delightfully so. But I don’t think it was all sunshine and rainbows. Not after all of that angst. 🙂 The peculiar heartaches and traumas you put poor Micah and Angel through meant it couldn’t be sunny, exactly. It had to have a gravity to it.

    At least in the case of what I’m currently writing, my characters have less overt hardship than yours which oddly makes it harder not to resolve their problems right away.

    And yes. Happy endings! They are such darlings, the characters. Part of the reason I write is to make them happy now that I’ve created them. I just need to take a leaf from you and let them hurt for a few chapters.


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