Friday, March 02, 2007

I'll get over you...I know I will.

Posting to the Killer Year blog, Dave White writes:

So, I’ve been really happy lately. I have a good job, a book coming out, and all sorts of other good things happening. I’ve been literally walking around with a goofy smile on my face for the last few months. Like big and dorky and goofy.

Is this a good thing for my writing?

I mean, have you read my Jackson Donne stories? Or any of my stories for that matter? They aren’t happy or upbeat or chipper. They’re pretty dark and depressing. Jackson Donne rarely–if ever–gets a happy ending. And my best stories–”Closure”/”My Father’s Gun”–were written in a haze of anger and sadness. WHEN ONE MAN DIES was written during a year where my love life basically went to hell.

And now… things are good. Too good...

I commented:

You make it sound as if whatever you’re feeling in the moment can’t help but bleed into your writing. That may be true at the earliest stages of brainstorming, but as you polish your writing, it becomes more planned, and you can avoid the gushing that may occur when you speak off-the-cuff, in the heat of a moment.

I don’t have to be in a mood to write unless you count my recalling when I felt a certain way, putting myself back in that mood, and then writing. In general, I find I can’t write about emotional situations unless I’ve already moved past those situations and can reflect on them objectively.


Dave White said...

Hey Gerald, good comment. However, I'm not sure I agree. When I wrote a story called "Righteous Son" (upcoming in 2008), the first draft had shades of the emotions I was feeling. I kind of knew something was going to happen in my life, but I wasn't sure how I was going to react to it. The situation happened in my life just as I was about to go into revisions. It really shaped the revision and made the emotions in the story a lot stronger.

Gerald So said...

I see what you're saying. My point was not that revision eliminates emotion, but that as you revise, you're able to focus emotion in a way that serves the story.