Sunday, September 26, 2010

Writing Heartbreak

We all know that conflict and emotional turmoil drives the plot, especially in romance. "If the author doesn't feel it, the reader definitely won't." But I find it hard to just "turn off" and return to real life. Ending a book is especially depressing, sort of like a post-partum feeling. And I think this inability to flip the circuit breaker switch is why I find it difficult to write more prolifically. (Well, that and the amount of research I feel I need to do before I get started.) Immersing myself completely into my characters' lives and situations seems to be the best way for me to produce a good story. But the emotional letdown or heavy heart seems to linger and seep into my reality.

How do other authors handle writing heartbreak? Do you 'bring your work home" so to speak, or are you able to disconnect when you walk away from the keyboard?

Jude Johnson
Dragon & Hawk will be available from Champagne Books in April 2011


Kat Hall said...

Hi Jude.

Enjoyed your post. It gave me some thought as to maybe why I am hesitant to continue writing in a book. Besides hubby who interupts my train of thought no matter when I start to write. Seems like a homing beacon for him to disturb that train of thought that I cannot get back. When I start, I want to keep going as I am on a roll and involved with my characters. I don't want to leave them but with the interuption, it feels like I have been teleported to another world.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Jude, although I do disconnect at the end of each book, I'm very plugged into my characters while writing and rewriting the books. Then my characters become old friends in my life, and I've never abandoned an old friend, although a few have lost touch with me as a part of the relocation process.

Don't mourn them just enjoy them: revisit them and remember that you have made them immortal in the Library of Congress.


Jude Johnson said...

Thanks Kat and Julie. I think it's the jolt of interruption and zap back to reality that makes it hard to shift gears. When I've written a particularly intense scene (and I've cried at the keyboard) it's tough to be an upbeat happy spouse. I often find myself thinking about what one of my characters would say in certain situations, which gives me lots of material for forthcoming sequels. Glad to hear that I'm not the only one with a spouse who seems to enjoy breaking into my train of thought. I'll have to get a separate writing room with a locking door!

Big Mike said...

I agree. I have a new novel SHADOW OF GUILT being released in Dec where the turmoil was so difficult to separate from, I had to go out outside and chop wood. I think as authors, the characters are real to us, their pain becomes our pain.

Michael Davis (
Author of the year (2008 & 2009)