Friday, February 26, 2010

Emotional response, and the power of our writing.

I participate in a number of social avenues for my writing. I am in a critique group and also talk about my writing occasionally on Facebook. I also work with my local library teaching and encouraging new and teen writers.

To get a point across in the writing group, I will use small snippets of my current story to make what I am talking about clear. I have often posted on Facebook a small idea of what I am writing. My crit group gets three chapters twice a month to crit and my friends, who all know I am a writer, hear all about my story.

Every time I tell someone about my story I get eavesdroppers tellimg me that they want to read it. I guess either the story is really good or my enthusiasm rubs off on them.

At the library monday, I was using Emergence to illustrate the peroid of time between the introdouction with the first plot point and then the second stage of the story until the mid point. The cleaning lady at the library overheard me and asked where she could get the book. I had to tell her it wasn't published yet. I was talking to a reader at a baby shower and the lady next to her asked to read it too. I get this alot.

I was at the local store months ago and I told a friend I figured out the ending of the book and was so excited about it. She'd never read it, and after we talked I gave her the finished MS. She started reading it and loved it. Every time I'd see her, she'd tell me where she was and how much she was enjoying it.

To be honest, I was loving the admiration and compliments. Talk about stoking my ego. LOL

However, about three quarters throgh the book she stopped reading it, TWICE! In the same place. I was frustrated and kept wondering if my story dropped at that point or I became a terible writer between the begining and the end.

Then she told me that she had become so emotionally involved in the story and so invested in the characters lives that she had to stop because she couldn't bear to read what happened to the characters in the end of the book. See if you remember, I told her the whole plot line and what happens at the end. Stupid me. :) I also had a friend who's husband had serious surgery and couldnt bring the MS to the hospital as it was too stressful to read at that point in time.

It was pretty frustrating because she had given me, up untill that time, really good feedback that I allways used for revisions. She even asked me if one character was too good to be real, what an eye opener that comment was, and more but much better revisions.

As I have thought about this dear friend of mine I have come to realize that when something is written well you elicit an emotional response. Whether good or bad. If this story gets published I am going to have people who love it or hate it. I am probably going to have people hate me for the ending of this book. I have joked with my good friends that I'm going to get hate mail for this one, and that I'm going to need a PO box.

I have had to accept that it's okay for her to not finish the book, a thought that had never crossed my mind before now. That as a writer I can't please everyone and that's okay.

That perhaps if I want everyone to love what I write, I should write something fuzzy with fluffy bunnies and butterflies. That I should abandon the high action and plot twisting story with the deeply conflicted MC . . . .



L.T. Elliot said...

Sounds like you're getting just the right kinds of responses.

Caledonia Lass said...

Oooh to elicit those responses in people is the warm fuzzy bunnies and butterflies. For you that is! :D