Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sore Hands and Blisters: Writing that Creates Pain

I have been taking the staples out of my bedroom floors. In the process of my husband removing the carpets we discovered that the bedrooms had wood underneath but that the hallway and living room did not.

Photo by: rileyroxx, courtesy of Flickr

My daughter and I spend roughly 5 hours yesterday removing the metal from the bedrooms. Our backs are sore this morning and our hands feel like sand paper.

Was it worth it?

Of course.
Photo by: cletch, courtesy of Flickr
The floors will be beautiful. I can already see the light at the end of the tunnel. And, as for the family room and hall (areas we also thought housed hardwood) we have had to make a different choice. We have new hardwood coming this week, an extra expense we hadn't planned on, but needed.

Writing the painful stuff is a bit like pulling up old carpet and discovering something different than you expected.

Consider writing about your feelings about a divorce or your feelings about selling your home a few years back because you could no longer afford it. Consider a husband who had a surprise diabetic seizure or a daughter struggling with depression. Consider what your life would be like without death, without struggle, without fear.

We all feel it and so must your characters to be real and lasting to your readers. The sore hands and blisters are necessary to their development, just as your sore hands and blisters are necessary to your development.

Suffice it to say there's a lot we can learn about real life; ways of being and choice that not only heal us through the process, but create real, believable characters for our readers.

We shouldn't want anything different.


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