Thursday, May 24, 2012

Difficult Scenes

There are some scenes which practically write themselves; without much effort the words just flow from your mind through your fingertips upon the keyboard and onto the screen. Or if you're one that prefers pen/pencil to paper, it seems your lousy, slow hand just can't write fast enough with your mind. Then there are those scenes which you sit and stare at the screen, trying to figure out for minutes or even hours on how to start the darn thing. You see it in your mind, yet you just can't seem to get on with it. And once you do finally get going, the going is sluggish and you just want the damn thing to be done. Yup, I've had those, and they can be pretty difficult. However, they're not the scenes of which this post is about. No. The scene in which I'm about to embark is one that'll be emotionally difficult because of the subject of which it encompasses.


The subject itself can be touchy to talk about. For some people, they believe those who attempt to commit or actually commit suicide are weak or selfish, leaving those they've left behind with grief and having to cope with the dealings of what their untimely death has brought them. Others are sympathetic, and feel sorrow for those that felt there was no other way, that death was the only option.

The scene I'm about to write will be difficult because I need to get into the mindset of my main character, Vlad, who after having witnessed the horrendous aftermath of his beloved family's death, goes into a dark state of mind where he believes there is nothing left for him worth living for, despite having many friends, a wife, and a baby on the way. He blames their deaths on himself--if only he had been there he could have saved them. Truth is, it wouldn't have mattered because of by which they were killed, and when the initial shock wears off he finally realizes this. In previous scenes he has made attempts before, but they were different from this one because of the initial shock of finding his family dead, they were sloppy and always thwarted. In this scene he has had some time to think, to gain the trust of his friends and loved ones that he was indeed healing from his melancholy, and so they become more lax on watching him for attempts of his own life, believing he truly was getting better. And when they let up their guard, he finds his window of opportunity.

Not only will writing from the viewpoint of a suicidal character be a bit tricky for me, because though at times I have felt down in the dumps but never to the place those who have felt suicidal have found themselves trapped, it's having to write what it is he does to himself that will make me a bit squeamish. Maybe a lot squeamish. I don't want to give away too much, though at work today while I was contemplating this scene and playing it through my head (which I do quite often, sometimes days in a row before I actually write it), I envisioned the part where he causes harm to himself and it actually made me feel a bit woozy, so I had to stop and think about something different for a bit (my fluffy!) That part I haven't quite decided if I will switch to another character's point of view or keep with the squeamish part because even though it may bother me, it may not bother others. Besides, there are/will be other squicky happenings in this series, or maybe I'm just over-thinking things a bit and I just need to write! I guess I'll figure it out once I get to that point.

As the series continues, there will, no doubt, be other scenes similar to this which I know will be hard to write as well. Writing isn't easy. It is those hard scenes, I think, that will help me to become a stronger writer.