Monday, June 27, 2016

Writing the Dark Spot

Oh my gosh! I swear the last several chapters I've revised have needed extra tender care. Like no other. Let's back track...

One of my fab beta readers, SK Anthony, was unfortunately going through eye problems during her initial beta read. She was very willing to make it up to me considering how she thought she wasn't as attentive as she could've been. She's silly. But what a doll, right?
I asked if she'd be willing to read it as I redid each chapter per beta suggestions, and tell me if all sounded glorious. Of course, she was very willing. Again, this girl is too sweet! Now, that brings me to these last several chapters...

If you looked at a *beat sheet by Blake Snyder*, I was just past mid-point writing doing the "All is Lost" and "Dark Night of the Soul". That's write! I mean, right! I'm at that tragic moment where everything is going down the crap drain and throwing the biggest pity party for it. But why is it taking me longer to write???


(Artist Sara Riches)
This weekend I finally figured out WHY and why I re-sent them again to SK (which is a first). She's making me dig deeper. Emote it all out. And I'm loving every minute of it. I can't be comedic in these touchy areas. My character can't bypass it when she wants, and think of other things, even though in real life we do. Readers are going to want my MC not to be insensitive to what just happened, but in fact be completely broken/vunerable in the moment.
I dug my heels in, the red Vera Wang pumps, and pulled emotions into those chapters. I read them back and they FELT powerful, affective, and moving.

I feel so blessed for all my beta readers. Each one of them gave me wonderful advice. If it weren't for them, the Dark Spot wouldn't be as dark as it needed. Thank you to Elizabeth Seckman, Carrie Butler, Tara Tyler, Chrys Fey, and SK Anthony!

~~{{LIST FOR THE WEEK}}~~
 
Books finished:  The Other Side of the Stars by Katherine King (post WWII love story), and Such a Clever Deception (prequel) and Such a Secret Place (book 1) by Cortney Pearson (heroine tasked with stolen tears) *****stars to each!
Movie watched: Troop Beverly Hills ("we don't need no stinkin' pah-tches!"; memories!)
Best recipe tried: Pioneer Woman's Peach Dumplings (calls for lemon-lime soda!)
So happy for: 10 chapters left to revise!!!!
Excited for: Son coming home Saturday, graduating Navy Sea Cadet Boot Camp! (I miss him!!!)
Best time this week: 3hour motorcycle ride along the beaches. (free bird, right here!)


QUESTIONS TO THE READERS:
1) is emotional writing hard for you?
2) best advice given towards it?
3) do you write in red pumps, too?? Don't lie men!

28 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

So glad your beta readers are helping you dig deeper. Sounds like you're really making progress in your writing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Critique partners have a way of prodding us to do more and go farther. Writing the emotional stuff is difficult for me. So are details. And probably pretty much everything else...

JoJo said...

Did you get up and Do The Freddy during Troop Beverly Hills? lol Where can you ride a motorcycle on the beach? Cars are allowed on a few beaches in Washington State, and here on Sandy Neck Beach, but I've never seen a bike on a beach. I would think that'd bog down w/ just the 2 tires.

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Congrats on the creative progress, Tammy!I don't listen to music, but someone recommended listening to the same song as a cue to write emotional scenes.

S.P. Bowers said...

Beta readers are the best. And I miss wearing heels. Maybe I should write in them. It would be the only place I could wear them.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Your post's final line made me laugh out loud!

Pat Hatt said...

Emotional scenes can be tough, I can get the pissed off ones, but really crying stuff, yeah, takes some work, if I get it at all lol

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Emotional writing is hard for everyone, I think. It usually takes me a few sessions of writing to get an emotional scene done.

Bish Denham said...

I have to work at the emotional scenes because I'm your basic light-hearted person. I'm hoping to lighten and brighten the world. That said, I have made myself cry on more than one occasion, so I can do it if I have to. :)

I hate shoes and particularly heels or I write barefooted.

Christine Rains said...

Beta readers are fabulous! Emotional writing is tough. And no, I don't write red pumps. Every time I have to mention heels in stories, I end up Googling them and wonder why more women don't break their ankles!

M said...

Congrats on making way with edits!

1. Yes. With my YA fantasy (due out in July!), my writing group made me go back and have the POV character do more internal dialogue so they could connect with her better. Same thing happened with Peter--at first I was told he was too aloof, so I had to go add more feelings in.

2. . . . I can't think of any direct advice except to give readers more of what the character is thinking/feeling.

3. Barefoot. I'm barefoot as much as I can get away with in life.

Mark Noce said...

Beta readers are gold:) As for emo writing, I try to write as though no one will ever read it. If you can make yourself vulnerable on the page it tends to really resonate with readers:)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Three cheers for your beta readers. I don't know about really dark, but I have put some heart-wrenching moments in my stories.

The Silver Fox said...

I never wear red. It's black shoes or no shoes for me. :)

Carrie Butler said...

I love this story! I can't wait to hold it in my hands. :D

Elephant's Child said...

I am pretty certain that emotional writing SHOULD be hard. If you are planning to yank on my heart strings and make my eyes leak doing so from a place of ignorance sounds a bit cheaty to me.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm glad you have SK a beta reader. And the others. I know I was thrilled to beta read for you. :)

Kelly Steel said...

Good beat readers are worth their weight in gold!

S.K. Anthony said...

I love going through the emotional up and downs with you!!! I feel so connected to Cindy, I swear when you get your contract, I think I'll celebrate just as much as you lol . . . And yes, powerful awesome feels! Love this book! <3 <3 <3

Tammy Theriault said...

You guys make me blush!

Annalisa Crawford said...

I'm trying to write deep emotion at the moment. I'm trying to make my MC's thoughts coherent, but she's depressed and actually depressed people aren't very coherent. It's a tricky balance.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Reading it was my pleasure! I would be lost without betas. They see the things I never do.

Pioneer women used lemon lime soda?

Congrats on your son coming home!! A Navy Seal- how awesome.

Stephanie Faris said...

There's nothing better than great beta readers. It sounds like they enjoyed reading it, too!

Crystal Collier said...

It sounds like you're on the right path. I have a content editor who made me rewrite THE ENTIRE BOOK. That's right, but it's SO awesome now. Sometimes all we need is some outside help, eh?

Kristin Smith said...

Yay for awesome beta readers! Isn't that the best?!

I tend to like the emotional writing, I think. I try to place myself in the mind of the character and dig deep into those emotions. Not sure if it works or not! Lol. :)

Unfortunately, I don't own a pair of red pumps. :( But I do have leopard print and they're AWESOME! :)

Heather R. Holden said...

Glad you have such fantastic beta-readers! The writerly life would probably be so much more grueling without 'em...

As for emotional writing, I live for stuff life that. Which is probably a good thing, since my projects range from tragedy to horror. Can't really avoid dark emotions in those genres, LOL.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Dig deeper than you ever dug before Tammy!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I don't wear red pumps but I love emotional writing. I love writing the dark moment. Enjoy that son when he gets home. They grow up and leave so quickly.