Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I wanna make people cry

This is my newest goal. I feel this is something I need to learn...or practice...or maybe I'll never be able to do it. Maybe it really is talent when an author completes a ms that can tear my heart out through the entire story before finally giving me that Happily Ever After.

My story isn't going to do it. I'm positive that bringing that kind of emotion to the story would mean way too many revisions.

Will I finish this story?

You bet I will.

Will I sub it out?

Oh yes. Without a doubt. This story is going places.

And it's good... Don't get me wrong. I love this story...

It just doesn't pack a punch like the novel I just read did. Am I too close? do I just not see it? *shrug* I don't know. When I'm finished with these revisions, we'll see.

What's in a story that makes you cry?

Me? It's definitely the misunderstandings... the old school third party monkey wrenches that end up keeping the H/h apart for another entire segment of story.

I love it when a heroine THINKS she knows the hero. And he graciously gives her that illusion.

It's hard to write characters that aren't attractive. Sometimes, the H or h are not attractive at first! I've hated and squirmed in my seat over a snobby, spoiled heroine who becomes a beautiful, gracious woman. And it's heartwrenching to see the change.

Emotion has to be behind every issue. That's my lesson this week. It's what I learned by reading Joyce's Bragg Saga. I know, I mentioned it earlier. It's old-school, but it hurts to read it! It's so fulfilling to reach the happily ever after because until that point there has only been emotion and conflict.

There's a precipice here and I'm standing on it...


  1. mmmm interesting. you know a couple of books you've sent my way have made me ball like a baby and my husband started saying, don't let bethanne recommend any more books, she likes to make you cry! lol
    But the emotion is a good thing - it helps a reader connect, helps a reader remember a book (how great is that for marketing!?), so I cheer you on. Make me cry!

  2. I feel the same way. Most of us writers do, I'm sure. But the trick is to forget that--that we want to make readers cry, laugh, cheer, etc. Because we have to write what WE want. The writer has to cry. Laugh. Cheer. Bleed. Whatever.


    And that's the really, really, really hard part. To go deep enough. To forget we're writing. To be that vulnerable.

    It's a risk. If it isn't, we're probably not doing something right. (IMHO, anyway.)


  3. Yes, every scene has to have emotion, but it doesn't have to be a big one. Sometimes attitude is enough.

  4. Oh, I like that, my unhinged friend. Maybe that's it. I'm writing a scene right now that is tugging pretty hard on my heart strings. Could be hormones, too, but my hero is sooo tortured at this point. It's been hard to take, this new journey I'm on...

    But I like it.

    Don't worry Alice, my story won't make you cry the entire time. :-) And it has attitude.

    It's a story from 1940, though. Figured I needed at least one or two scenes that would make someone cry.

  5. I agree with unhinged. Write what you want and the rest should come b/c as writers, we're digging into the deepest part of ourselves and putting it out there for the world.

    Sacrifice is a big one for me. Even if the book is mainly comedic, if a h/h makes a huge sacrifice for the other, I always tear up. Of course, I cry at dorito's commercials :)

  6. Hmm. They say that all good writing evokes emotion.


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