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JamesSavik

Confronting difficult emotional issues

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I can write fun stuff all day long. Takes me a little while. I do a lot of research to check and re-check my facts. I can crank it out.

Where I run into trouble is when I confront serious emotional issues. I've got a concept for a 10K word story. It came to me a while ago. I've done my preliminary work on it. Written up stuff like theme, concept, etc. Then... I start writing and all I want to do is run away.

It always happens when I write about stuff that's way too close to home but if I can fight my way through it, it turns out to be some of my best stuff. I'm not even sure if it should be written.

Here's the project page:

Project Concept: 39 Bravo

Title: The Hardened Heart

“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.”

John 12:40

Concept: ten years after suffering a life-altering tragedy and loss, a man finds healing by dealing with the memories buried in his shed.

POV: 1st Person

Setting: Lafayette, LA rural

Characters:

Protagonist: unamed.

Remy Boudreaux

Mama Doucet

Willi Gauthier

Justin, Francois

Alpha Outline

I. Exposition

II. Decision to clean out shed after 10 years of ignoring stuff from old life

III. Coda 1- reminder of meeting

IV. Coda 2- reminder of love

V. Coda 3- reminder of loss

VI. Sells the old stuff, stops hanging on, finds renewal and connection

______________________________________________________________

The Hardened Heart

“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.”

John 12:40

Some people live in South Louisiana for the fishing. With others it’s their family lands or they like to hunt. For me, I moved here to hide. I couldn’t stand the looks of pity and the whispers. I couldn’t stand the girls in the office that found out I was gay and decided I was their buddy. Are you all right? Time heals all wounds. This too will pass. You are in our prayers. Oh horse shit.

It has been ten years and I haven’t been back. Just the thought of the place makes me a sick. You live with people for years but you never really know them until you’re hurt and down and they start kicking you and don’t stop.

I sold the house, cashed everything in and told them my forwarding address was go fuck yourself. I found a nice little place outside Lafayette and became the nice Anglo man that bought the old Hammond place. Here I am comfortably anonymous without being the talk of the town or people knowing my whole family tree five generations back. I didn’t know he was a faggit. Guess he’s got the AIDS too since it kilt his fuck buddy.

I love my new place. It’s not really home but I’ll never go back there. I couldn’t if I wanted to. That place is gone forever. My new place is on a hill overlooking the bayou lined with old cypress trees, a few magnolias and an ancient oak. I’ve got my own boat house and dock. It’s not fancy but it suits me. Far enough out in the country that I only have to see people when I want to. My neighbors respect my privacy and I respect theirs. Their meth labs and pot farms are between them, Jesus and the county sheriff as far as I am concerned.

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Even if I don't name my protagonist I always have an image of who that person is, how they look, their relationships, their objectives in the story. I assume that "unnamed" has, for you, all of those categories filled in, or you will have them filled in as you start writing the story and learn more about your protagonist.

Interesting start. Now's the time to get off your butt and start writing. Seriously.

Colin :icon_geek:

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James, I love your pithy, emotional, cathartic writing. You do an incredible job with it. I hope you'll continued this, even if it is painful.

Ditto. Either you will or you won't finish it - though I'm hoping you do. Emotional involvement often delivers the best work. If it's that painful you could step back as you, but include 'the writer' - as King did with 'Stand By Me'.

Excellent forwarding address!

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The emotion is very clear, raw, and painful. The outline promises more. I think you might have better luck coming to grips with it by writing the story in the third person. You need to get a little elbow room from this protagonist so you can let him into your head with a little more dispassion.

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Some good wisdom in the replies above, but in the final approach to writing something emotional it is the author who must bear the burden alone. Sigh.

Often the subject to address is more difficult if there is an association between the fiction and the real world around you, past or present. How many friends did I lose to AIDS...the subject still kills me to write about. Bullying, family rejection...etc. All these things are wont to crop up in our writing and we suffer in the confrontation long before the readers have to face it.

I think this is why I look forward to ending a story with a "sunrise", something to overcome the tragedy that often occurs between intense characters. It's okay to make the readers cry, but you have to give them something positive at the end of a tale. So write your story, James, and feel what the readers will feel.

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Merkin

I think you might have better luck coming to grips with it by writing the story in the third person. You need to get a little elbow room from this protagonist so you can let him into your head with a little more dispassion.

I think you are right. 1st person is too damned close for the radioactive emotions in this one.

CJ

Often the subject to address is more difficult if there is an association between the fiction and the real world around you, past or present. How many friends did I lose to AIDS...the subject still kills me to write about.

This is our burden- those of us who lived- we must write about it or the whole damned thing was just a waste. All the pain, all the fear and desolation. It was our holocaust and I feel that we are damned in some way if we allow it to be forgotten.

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