I was having the most fascinating conversation with a writer friend the other day about how working on the dark parts of stories can affect your mood. She’d been working on a horror novel and I’d been editing a tough, angry emotional scene. Neither of us could do it without the emotion bleeding into us in the real world.
She’s made the decision to give the novel a rest, at least for a while, and I was incredibly happy to get to the end of my chapter and move on.
It got me thinking that this is why in my scratch drafts and even first drafts the emotion is often underdeveloped in those kind of scenes. It makes sense that I don’t dig deep on the first go round; I might put the draft down instead of pushing on.
It also got me thinking that if a quarter of what I was feeling, working on this particular scene, showed in my face as I was editing, then there’s a reason people haven’t been sitting next to me on the train recently!