Sunday, December 23, 2012

On Era-Shock and Other Potential for Overwhelm-ment

I was realizing today that my last month of research before plowing into writing this NaNoWriSpr manuscript might be pretty intense at times. Good thing it's the holidays so I'll have breaks, and in the spring I'll have teaching and occasional academic writing to balance it out, because I can tell already that this will be intense at times.

It's not the writing that bothers me. I'm pretty sure I can do the writing. It won't be perfect all the time, but past experience has shown me I can produce large chunks of text.

Here's what worries me:
  • Era-shock: This novel's set in a different place and time. I've lived in other cultures for months at a time before, and it can be exhausting to process all that difference. While I'll have respites from this other culture and time, I'm trying to think my way into this different world, and that's going to be overwhelming at times.
  • Emotional Contagion from Main Characters: As often happens in fiction, things will go wrong for my characters. Regularly. That often happens in Story. I'm going to have to work through their emotions with them. That's going to dredge some stuff up. They'll probably drag me down with their bad moods some days.
  • Dealing with Ongoing Conflict: Story is made of conflict, and I am required to think my way into what my characters will think and feel about it. This means there will be emotional labor associated with it. Must. Mentally. Prepare.
  • Characters Will Likely Die: Let's face it--beyond at-times-unlovely lives, some of my characters might not make it to the end of the story. As someone who bawls every time Beth died in Little Women, I can tell this is yet another source of emotional labor.
To my characters: You better be thankful I'm willing to sacrifice to make you live, dangit! This process will be rough at times! Rewarding? Absolutely! But yeah.

Some extra support over the next few months would be great, folks! Cheer from the sidelines if you can!

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