Last night, I came home from a frustrating day at work, fired up to do some writing. In this scene, the main character is angry at another character and I thought I might be able to channel some of my own irritations into the dialog. The problem was, by the time I had some dinner and talked to my husband, I wasn’t upset anymore. I was in a good mood. No matter how much I wanted to write this scene, I knew it wasn’t happening. I decided to close up the laptop, and call it a night.
I think this often happens to me as a writer. I like to use my own emotions, and funnel them into my characters. I want to feel what I imagine my character is feeling. I want to put myself into their mindset. If I’m in a good mood, my dialog comes out comical and sarcastic. If I’m upset, my dialog reflects that as well. I’ve often skipped ahead and wrote scenes based on the emotions I’m feeling that day. If I have a rough outline in place, I know what’s coming up, and I try to use that to my advantage.
I don’t think emotions in writing can be forced. Even when I try to think of bad things that have happened in my life, if I’m in a good mood, I can’t channel those bad thoughts into my writing effectively. It doesn’t feel as genuine when I go back and read through my work. I’m not sure if this is true for everyone. I only know that this is true for my work as a writer.
On a side note, my husband has been my rock, encouraging me through all my madness. When I told him about my frustrations trying to write this scene, he said with sincerity; “Well, maybe you’ll have a bad day at work tomorrow.” I think this is the only time in history when I hoped he was right. 🙂