Novel Writing: Insights on Writing Emotionally Intense Scenes: NaNoWriMo Day 22

BestEmotionsThere are times when writing  that you're simply not ready to create a certain scene.

I'm currently writing my second novel, They All Died Smiling. Today I filled in part of a scene I had been putting off for a bit.


I'm not a procrastinator when it comes to my favorite activity, so why did I put off writing the segment? Three reasons:

  1. It's a piece of backstory revealed as a memory.
  2. It's intense.
  3. Kass (the protagonist) hadn't told me everything that happened, and I needed that to amp up the emotion.

1. Reverie is often overdone in books and movies, but at times it's necessary. To do it well, the author needs to know the character and the event very well. Sometimes, things need to germinate and grow inside for a while before they're ready to come out.

2. Writing an intensely emotional scene involves me getting into that state. The writer's version of method acting. I go through every memory of my character as a fresh event. It's draining, so I need to be in the right space and have no possibility of interruption (which means late night writing).

3. My characters talk to me (or sometimes not). 3. I know Kass well, including the pain of her past, But as with any painful experience, it's often easier for someone to share the high level overview but not the gritty details.

So late tonight, I dove into that heart-wrenching memory that floods Kass's mind while she's riding the el train in Chicago all the way back in hapter one.

Putting the scene into words meant lots of tears, fear, and betrayal, then it took me a couple hours to go to sleep afterwards.

This scene didn't add much to the word count, but it enriched the reader experience.

I hope this is helpful to you on your author journey.

My NaNoWriMo Progress

I will hit the 80% mark this weekend, yay! Now that I have this crucial memory in place, I'm ready to  get into the most perilous, frightening part of the tale in the coming week.

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

#q best selling author and speaker