Self-care for writers: Don't take on your characters' emotions


  • administrators

    Sometimes when I write a stressful scene, I end up stressed. How should I manage that?

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  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    This is fascinating. For me, I tend to let my moods dictate what I write. So if I am angry I write the scenes that are angry. If i am happy, I try and write the happy scenes. Though I admit to fully allowing my character's moods to influence my own. I think it comes from years of being a player at tabletop RPG games.



  • @Josey said in Self-care for writers: Don't take on your characters' emotions:

    For me, I tend to let my moods dictate what I write. So if I am angry I write the scenes that are angry. If i am happy, I try and write the happy scenes.

    I have no idea how people do that? I always walk into my most emotionally charged scenes either bored or worried because it's emotionally charged. But I also have a short anger span, so trying to write when I'm angry just doesn't work :P

    On the plus side, I rarely come out from writing an emotionally charged scene feeling whatever emotion I was writing. If I take on an emotion from a character, it's when I'm imagining a scene in my head. (I always lose that when I transfer it to page, tho, which is super frustrating.)



  • I have taken hours longer to write a scene than necessary because I was literally sobbing too much. As in, I was sobbing so much I couldn't even see the freaking page anymore. -.-

    That said, it's mostly just an 'in the moment' type of thing. There were only two moments in the RPs that made me feel genuine sadness and those were the ones that actually didn't make me cry, but they did stick with me for a while.

    One involved Jake crying over Crys' grave when he (and everyone else) thinks she's been killed and it was a pretty small moment, but it struck me because I put that guy through a lot during the course of that particular story arc, but... There was just this nothingness inside of him in that moment that scared the crap out of me. I'm glad she wasn't actually dead and all of that because... It might've actually felt bad otherwise. >.>

    The second one is the first time Luckas talks about his mother to someone. He'd mentioned it before, but this time he gets questioned after saying he'd rather she just killed him and he ends up actually painting a real picture of how he felt as a little kid being abandoned and ugh, it freaking hurts.

    But I digress... Heh... Apart from these two moments where I actually felt truly affected, I actually enjoy having a good cry when writing a sad scene, or experiencing real visceral anger at some situations or characters, because it feels really cathartic for me. It's like a giant emotional... Sneeze... :P


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