Last night I wrote a pivotal chapter in my novel.
I’ve finally hit my relatively modest goal of 50 000 words since starting in November 2008 (!) The story has swelled and is continuing to grow despite me, though I’m eager to end it – even if it means writing a purely arbitrary finale – so that I can begin the very scary journey of EDITING! (eek!)
Anyway, last night I wrote a pivotal chapter. It was emotional, scary and at times I wanted to stop but I couldn't. I find that writing upsetting scenes come naturally to me. Most of the time I struggle to write even 300 words in one sitting. But when the content is distressing or moving and when I find myself asking the question "can I show this to other people", my writing becomes fluid, I can punch out 1000 words in under an hour and it is mostly coherent.
I have a few scenes in my novel like this. Scenes that I seriously question whether I have the stomach to edit, expand and prepare for a second/third/fourth pair of eyes to read. The scenes are not morbidly grotesque or terribly depressing, but they are dark and confronting. Sometimes they are themes that stem from dark times in my own life - though they are always fictionalised extensions of what I have experienced.
Despite the fact that it is fiction, sometimes the emotion of traumatic scenes, that my characters face, get to me. I've gotten emotional while writing about four or five key scenes while writing this piece. One of which I don't know if I'll ultimately include at all in my second draft. I feel like I can communicate the scene well enough and it defines the behaviour of one of the main characters... but I don't know if I want the content, I don't know if it has a place in the bigger story, I don't know if I can go back to it to improve and manipulate the first raw scribbling.