What Sarah SaidToday's Tune:
I'm struggling a little with writing human pain and tragedy today. Not that I don't know about it - we all do - but that I can't figure out exactly how to convey the pain in words.
Too much and it's melodramatic.
To little and it's emotionless.
Where's that balance between quiet pain and screaming at the world? How do we convey it in words without making our audience either bored or feel like they're being told to feel something they don't feel?
This is where I am right now. My character has lost someone very important to her and she's not sure exactly how to react. She's confused, angry, and in mourning. I keep waffling between having her react in an overblown, melodramatic way, or going completely numb. Both are a little too far to either end of the spectrum.
I try to recall how I reacted to pain. I tend to go it alone; putting on a brave face while quietly seething and weeping in a corner somewhere, occasionally screaming into pillows. As I've grown older, I tend to seek out the comfort of a friend or two.
Then I think about other people I know; people who yell and punch walls and rage at everything. That hot, molten, frightening sort of angry sorrow.
In the end, I suppose it's about analyzing my character and figuring out which emotion is at the forefront of her personality, and channeling her grief through that. Anger, or strength? Confusion, or losing her faith? Is she the quiet private mourner, or the loud public mourner? More exploration is necessary, I think.
How about you, readers? How do you write intense sorrow and human tragedy?