QOTW: Are you affected by your story’s own tragedies?

8 Jul

This week’s question is from Allie, who asks:

Do you ever find yourself crying over the death of one of your characters? Or angry over a betrayal in the story? Even though you are the one who has devised the tragedy. Because sometimes when I am writing, I find myself slightly angry at one of my characters. Or kind of sorry when a character tells a sad part of their back story. I was just wondering of there is anyone else who goes through the same thing in their story.


Absolutely. I think it’s only natural that you would feel the emotions that you put your characters through, especially during high-emotion scenes. If I know I’m going to have a death scene I’m usually thinking about it months in advance, but when I actually write it I spend hours on it, getting really involved in all the nuances of the scene. Recently as I wrote a death scene in my sleeping beauty retelling, ROSES OF ASH, I cried. It was just a really beautiful and sad death.

I do sometimes get angry at my characters, too, especially if they’re being mean on purpose. But it goes back to getting really involved in your scenes so that you can channel honest emotions.

Savannah Foley


I was talking about something similar to this just the other day.  I don’t know that I cry over the deaths (since I’ve been steeling myself for it for so long), but I do get completely fluttery and giddy when I write the love-interest scenes.  I literally fall in love with the love interest for whatever book I’m writing at that point (shh! Don’t tell my hubby!).  Heck, I’m grinning right now just thinking about the next scene I’ll write with my WIP’s lover-boy. 😀

And as for betrayal scenes–oh yeah!  I sink right into my MC’s head, and inevitably, the outraged tears will come.  I just channel those reactions right onto the page.  I also get frustrated with my characters when they refuse to change (even though I’ve crafted them to be that way!) or see the truth.

I think part of writing authentically is really feeling all of your emotions, so I think it’s a great thing you get choked up or annoyed when you write!

Susan Dennard


I tend to write really close third person narratives or first person narratives, so I definitely really get into my character’s shoes and try to feel everything they feel. So for me, it’s sort of done on purpose. I feel like I can’t write the scene properly unless I really put myself in their situation and work out their emotions. It’s always been sort of easy for me to feel what other people might be feeling (a bit too easy sometimes, lol. Makes watching some movies/reading some books really difficult), so I definitely feel things my character does….unless it’s like….murderous intent. 🙂

Kat Zhang


Are you affected by your story’s own tragedies?


2 Responses to “QOTW: Are you affected by your story’s own tragedies?”

  1. Marc Vun Kannon July 8, 2011 at 9:37 AM #

    I had this exact thing happen when i was writing a scene in Ghostkiller recently. The hero discovers something that scares the crap out of him and trying to write that scene was very emotionally draining for me as well. I have a number of scenes from my other novels that do the same with happiness and sadness, but this was the first with fear.

    And I was trying to log in with my wordpress account and the box wouldn’t take it.

  2. brandimziegler August 24, 2011 at 4:18 PM #

    I’m like Susan – I fall in love with the love interests and get really giddy just thinking about them. And when my mind wanders while I’m writing I’ll scroll through my WIP to the love-interest scenes haha. Betrayal is a strong one for me too.

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