A peek inside my mind
Reading about your writing process was truly enjoyable! I recognize similar things in my own creative process. When you got to the part about emotions I began to reflect on how I tackle my characters' emotions. These lines by you resonate with me:
"Even though I might write about my emotions, sometimes in a very specific and detailed way, it doesn’t mean that I truly feel them. I still sometimes find myself holding back tears when it would probably feel 10x better and cathartic if I just let them flow."
Love that you included prompts at the end of this post so your musings can be expanded on! This is stuff I'm personally interested in. The writing process itself and how we discover our stories and characters - and what they feel.
To find my own characters' emotions, and to truly explore them, I attempt to tap into the scene as if it was a movie or real event. I watch it unfold and allow the characters to say what they want. Sometimes I stop them and make them say things again. I have never fully written this 'out loud' before but I think this is how I work. Sometimes the characters surprise me, and I might burst out laughing. Sometimes they drive me to tears, or they become annoying. I allow myself to accept what the characters say and do, mostly out of pure curiosity. Some cool stuff might come out of it.
Usually a scene or story idea appears to me, accompanied with a mood. For example, my short story 'https://acabinetofcuriosities.substack.com/p/green-velvet appeared to me after I saw this lovely green velvet dress (pictured in the link). More and more I find myself trying out different settings and voices, purely to once again see what will happen. I like setting traps for myself to see if I can get out of them. I've always enjoyed reading stories like that. I want to build up a certain mood so that they reading can smell it. If I achieve that, I feel I have succeeded.
Thanks again for inviting us to read about your writing process! Definitely keep writing fiction. It's freeing, isn't it? And publish it.
If anyone wants to see more of my stuff, click on my Substack. I published a sci-fi anthology of short stories called 'No End Code' and I enjoy experimenting with everything from micro-podcasts to writing about classic movies, being human and that time I wrote a letter to Brian Wilson.
Oh, and here's a peek into my writing process if you'd like to read: https://acabinetofcuriosities.substack.com/p/they-wore-jeans?r=bu9kr&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web.
I really enjoyed this follow-up post. I also love to learn about the behind-the-scenes stories of how things are made so I appreciate you pulling back the curtain for us.
I’m curious how many attempts it took you before you posted this story? That always strikes me as the most vulnerable, yet exhilarating, moment - when you choose to put something out in the world you feel wholly unqualified to do (speaking for myself, not you - you can clearly write good fiction). I’ve written fiction as part of a songwriting exercise to try to get inside the story a bit more. But, I always got squeamish reading any of it again. I agree with you that it’s hard to decide where to take a story and hard to make dialogue that doesn’t make me want to gag. Did you find it easier when you put constraints on yourself or was it more like “the puzzle” emerging over time?
BTW - I was going to ask you about why Joel never cursed but balked thinking it was inconsequential. Thanks for scratching that itch.
I really want to read more of the story. I was sucked in. Would you possibly write more, like another chapter. I’m so intrigued.