Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ardent About Angst

On a first note, Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays, all that jazz. The gifts are mailed from Amazon with expidited shipping (costing a bundle by the way, the price of procrastination), now last minute wrapping must commense! Thanks for all the comments on my little dancing tale, I'll be sure to post at least one picture of my gussied up self when I can figure out how to get them on here. I lack a camera, just a cell phone and a webcam, and the cord to one is lost while the other has horrid quality. But before I get to that, I am happy to report I was able to write 1000 words, the longest session throughout this season I've done yet. And the driving force behind this spur of the moment inspiration? Character angst!

I've noticed in the past, that a lot of enjoyment in my writing comes from the really emotional scenes my characters are going through. It's when the description is most enjoyable, when they're at their most fascinating. Strong happy emotions are fine and dandy, but the juices flow best when there's a big conflict that makes the tear jerking rage really show. I do a consistent first person point of view usually, too, so it's all the more vivid. Those section are the most fun to read back no matter how many times I go over them.

My only conclusion to this seems to be that I delight in character torture. As a reader, that's the thing that keeps the pages turning for me, that hope for a resolution to those hard feelings. I'm the type who craves a happy ending after some really hard conflicts, or at least a meaningful tragic ending. Logic dictates that if I want to write what I like to read, my characters are going to see a lot of hell before they see any happy. A writing book I actually read called Thanks, But This Isn't For Us by Jessica Page Morrell had a chapter all about building suspense, page turning experience, etc. and the core rule of it was to just say no to your characters. That was the key of the entire thing. I equate that with character torture, and I've got to say, sometimes it is delightful.

What's your take on this? Do you like torturing your characters, telling them no constantly? Do you like that as a reader? Is there such a thing as too much angst for a character? I'd love to hear your thoughts. :)

1 comment:

  1. honestly I'm a fan of character torture, I have a hard time doing it in my own writing, but I love reading it. Like you it pushes me forward turning the pages hoping for that happy ending.

    I will admit there have been some books I have read where I thought- OMG the character is never getting through to the end with out a mental break down, but that made the ending so much better when the happy finally came- within reason I do not think there is too much...