My husband laughs at me often when I’m writing. Why? Apparently I make faces at the screen while I’m writing. If I’m writing a funny or happy scene, I’m smiling. I’ve been known to be frowning when one of my characters is upset or confused. I chuckle when something is funny and even cry when something sad is happening.
As I was finishing the writing of Tears of War, the next book in my Dragon’s Call series, I had trouble typing through the tears that flowed down my face.
My middle son asked me, “Why are you crying?”
I told him it was because something sad was happening to my characters.
His reply: How can it be sad for you? You’re the author, you know it’s coming and how it’s going to happen. You’ve known it was coming since you started on this book.
Well, yes I did know it was coming. The ending of Tears was no surprise to me, my characters for once agreed completely with what I planned to do and fell into their roles in the end of Tears with absolute perfection.
So why was I crying? Why do I frown like I’m confused, smile like at idiot at my screen as a happy scene unfolds or even laugh a little when something funny happens?
I looked at my son as I blew my nose on yet another tissue and I told him, “How can I expect my readers to feel it if I don’t?”
And that truly is my answer. I can’t expect my readers to feel any emotions be they happy, sad, or something in between if I don’t feel them. How can I make their hearts break if mine isn’t? How can I make them feel frustrated if I don’t? How can I make them feel hopeless if I’m not?
So yes, I make faces at my screen, I laugh, I cry, and even feel nervous while writing. I don’t claim to be an emotion guru and I don’t know if all of what I feel when writing comes through in the story, but at least I know I have literally given it everything I have.