Don’t get emotional.
Don’t get emotionally attached.
Not Being Emotional
Ever hear things like this? I have heard it in various versions throughout my life. As a soldier we are taught to leave emotions out of our decisions, which makes sense as it is an occupation which requires someone to thrive in chaos. Medical professionals are told not to become attached as they have to be able to think of a patient rationally.
Should You Write Detached?
Writing is not something that this concept can be applied to. There is something seriously wrong with a story, in which an author doesn’t develop an emotional attachment to their characters. Which is understandable as they are your creations, their mannerisms, personalities, and growth stir something inside. I like to look at it from this perspective, if you do not care about the characters, why should a reader care? Writing comes from the soul. I have killed characters before and it is not a decision that comes easily.
The Hardest Emotional Writing
A handful of henchmen aren’t what I am talking about. I have one particular character who was an absolute piece of shit. She was bratty, rude and self centered. Yet she had redeemable qualities. Then a point in the story came where she could live. I wrote out two scenarios, one where she lived and one where she died. For the betterment of the story I knew what I had to do. When I wrote out the scene I admit it brought some tears to my eyes. Why? She was a piece of shit, why was I agonizing over this? Why did I feel guilty?
Because I cared. How could I do that to a character that I truly care for? It has happened and it causes sleepless nights, rewrites and a sense of total numbness. I mourn my characters as if I would mourn a living person. In truth mourning a real person is not the same, but it has to be the closest example to describe that feeling. Always write with your heart and emotions because that will provide the most vivid, lucid and gripping novel.
Bottom line if you want to write an epic novel, get fucking emotional!