It's time for the wild ride that is the blog chain. Strap yourselves in people, this one's gonna be rough. Archetype started this topic. Abi posted just before me, and Terri's post will be up mañana.
So here's the question of the chain: Some people argue that creative people need “angst” to produce good work. Do you? What emotions drive you as a writer?
I'm gonna break this up a little. Here's the first part again. Some people argue that creative people need "angst" to produce good work. Do you?
I don' think it's so much what I feel when I'm writing as much as it's what I experience when I'm not. The angst I feel about writing comes when I'm not writing. I've written something and now I'm stuck. What comes next? How do I get Jared back to Montana? What will Vi do now that Jag has said those three little words? Can she say them back? How can Hunter defeat his enemies? Oh, and how's he gonna get out of that bank alive?
That's my angst. When I'm writing, I'm fine. It's when I paint myself into a corner that I'm angsty.
Or when I have two scenes that need to connect somehow and I just can't quite figure it out. This requires much thinkage. And in my world, thinkage = angst. My angst-thought areas are: the shower (maybe TMI? Tighten your seat belt...), driving in the car, and as I'm waiting to fall asleep. That's when I have time to devote to "angsting" about my writing.
But I never angst during the actual writing.
So on to part two: What emotions drive you as a writer?
I need to be able to place myself directly in a situation. I think some people can do this better than others. I have been known to bite every fingernail I own while reading a book or watching movies. Things are just so real to me.
When I was younger, an episode of "The Facts of Life" scared me to death. I can still see it in my mind. (I looked for it on youtube, but even I do not have unlimited time. Have you seen how many episodes of TFOL there are? Sheesh.) Ever since then, I absolutely cannot sleep without being able to see the door. Or without any coverings, no matter how hot it is. This is completely illogical of course, since I'm practically blind and can't see at night anyway. But I can imagine the situation and place myself directly in it. I could write it if I needed to.
I refuse to watch movies like The Ring, news programs that talk about serial killers, or anything else remotely scary. After watching a 20/20 program on the BTK killer, I made my eight-year-old son check the closets if the doors had mysteriously closed. Seriously. I think everything I see or read could happen to me. And that's scary.
When we moved into our house several years ago, one of the first things I did was plan where I would hide if someone tried to break in. (In my defense, we were one of the first families to move into our development and there were construction crews everywhere. And no one nearby for help.) I have this way overactive imagination that conjures up the worst thing that could happen and then I decide what I would do in that situation.
I once watched a TV show like CSI or some crime show like that. This murderer guy was hiding out in the ceilings of his victims. Then he would call them on the phone and say things to them that portrayed that he could see them. It freaked me out. I refused to sleep in rooms where anyone would be able to crawl into the ceiling to murder me. Luckily, at the time, we lived in an apartment building on the bottom floor. When we went out of town, I insisted we sleep in the basement. No, I'm not kidding.
This kind of fear--the ability to place myself in any situation--is what I think helps me write. I experience it right along with my characters as I put them in horrible situations. I'm able to make up ways for them to get out of their scary situations, because yanno, I've done that in my real life.
Some of my favorite books are the Harry Potter's. But I absolutely hate number 5, The Order of the Phoenix. Don't get me wrong, I've read it several times and watch the movie quite a bit too. The reason I don't like it? It's filled from page one to whatever with injustice. It just makes me so mad. I use injustice to inspire anger in my writing as well. I think everyone feels like they've been wronged at some point in their life, and they can identify to an injustice and the anger that comes from it.
So I use terror, injustice and blind rage to drive my writing. Freak, I might need to schedule a therapy session for my angst issues. I toldja to hold on tight.
Don't forget, Terri is up tomorrow.