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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Being Evil and other Writing Blocks

It's crazy that writing bad stuff happening to characters in a fictional book is mentally hanging me up.  Granted I am not the most stable, sociable, well adjusted guy in the neighborhood, and could benefit from some therapy, but I am a real old school men don't cry kind of guy who ain't gonna be see some shrink.  Not Happen!
I have been planning crimes for years, imagining all these way out stories I want to write, and watching action movies my whole life.  I even watched a couple of the SAW movies with my daughter because she asked me to.  They are uncomfortable to watch even knowing that they are fake and it is just a movie.  Lately I have been getting that same uncomfortable feeling with trying to write the battle scenes in my second Alexander Hawk Novel.  I am glad I have recognized what is making me drag my feet and feel blocked. 
I know this is it, because if I think about characters from movies who were evil, or old war movies where the submarine commander had to ask somebody to do something that would more than likely result in their death, then things open right up and I'm off and running.  Part of the problem is the time I write also.  My only time to sit and write is in the evenings after I put my little boys to bed, and I think the conflict is going from reading 'Run Away Ralph, Winnie-the-Pooh, and Doctor Seuss' to Interstellar Combat between Dragons and Gators, and Earthling children and the Macktonics!  It just takes a mental shift to get the wheels turning.
What Writers Blocks do you have or have you encountered?
Have you identified the cause?
Did you recognize the dragging your feet or feeling conflicted in sitting and writing as a Writers Block?
I work from a very detailed outline and know where my story is going for this book and the next and final novel in the Series.  I still haven't decided if I will leave the final book open that I may easily bring Alexander Hawk back to life at some future date or end it for good.  Personally I am a firm believer in burning bridges if you're sure you don't want to return.  I'm not sure yet!
Because I know where I'm going with the story the slowing down and dragging my feet wasn't a story problem, I knew it had to be a personal hang-up or issue.  Things clicked and the fingers began dancing across the keys again after shifting my internal focus to somebody who would stomp on the family cat's head, start an arson fire for the hell of it, or start a shooting spree because I was bored.  It was a personal issue; I'm a nice guy at heart.
I wrote this post because as writers we need to be hyper-sensitive to what makes us work smarter instead of harder.  What mood we are in when our writing is going great?  What's our best and most productive time to write?
We need to know when to do something else productive if it ain't happen, like editing, working on art work, maybe another story.  We need to recognize the little things that are hanging us up.  I don't want to let hang-ups make my writing dull, plain and boring because I was afraid to step out on a ledge, pull a trigger, or blow something up!
In the case of my current Novel the main characters are children, orphan children that nobody wants.  They have no families back home to send letters to if they end up dying in combat in outer space.  Its game on time, the big battle and it would be unrealistic for them all to survive and everybody to come out hunky dory! 
It's time to stomp the cat and kill some kids.


J.L. Murphey said...

I have just the opposite problem. My real life is full of proper conduct but my imagination runs wild. Ever want to successfully rob a bank...ask a cop. Ever want to know what hell on earth is...ask a minister. LOL

While you may have an aversion to writing the bad are a trained soldier and that comes through in your novels. Think about your training when writing the bad bits. Play what if scenarios in your head. Poor kitty and kids. Single minded goals become the focus and getting from point A to point B.

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