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View Full Version : Tearing up from what you write - good sign or bad?



AyJay
11-14-2009, 12:40 AM
I'm not posing this as the most serious of discussions. Just curious to hear if other people have had this same experience.

Just finished a scene in my fantasy WIP where the MC returns from the afterlife to comfort his grieving sister. And the tears started flowing from my MC, from his sister and then from me! I've either hit on some gripping stuff or am going through early manopause, I think. Still a little shaky as I write this. But this has happened to me before - writing a scene that gets me all emotional only to have others read it with mixed responses, including invoking the M word (melodramatic).

So has anyone ever cried on their keyboard before? Do you think it's good, bad or indifferent in terms of the quality of what you've written?

icerose
11-14-2009, 12:42 AM
If your story is moving you that's a very good start. Making the next leap and moving your readers is crucial.

Shadow_Ferret
11-14-2009, 12:45 AM
I often think its just because I'm so close to the story, close to the characters. My tearing up doesn't mean much. If someone else tears up, then you've got something!

Paul
11-14-2009, 12:46 AM
I'm not posing this as the most serious of discussions. Just curious to hear if other people have had this same experience.

Just finished a scene in my fantasy WIP where the MC returns from the afterlife to comfort his grieving sister. And the tears started flowing from my MC, from his sister and then from me! I've either hit on some gripping stuff or am going through early manopause, I think. Still a little shaky as I write this. But this has happened to me before - writing a scene that gets me all emotional only to have others read it with mixed responses, including invoking the M word (melodramatic).

So has anyone ever cried on their keyboard before? Do you think it's good, bad or indifferent in terms of the quality of what you've written?

LOL
Too funny
Essentially you're asking am i crying bec. my work brought forth deep emotion (always good) or bec. i just realised i can't write!

Seriously, it's all about the emotion. Whether it be love hate anger, despair, excitment etc etc. It aint accountancy! (not til the big bucks roll in...)

Chasing the Horizon
11-14-2009, 01:02 AM
I'm not one to tear up over anything. Luckily, according to my beta readers, this doesn't keep my work from making others tear up. :)

Dawnny Baby
11-14-2009, 01:11 AM
I think when we tear up while writing it's because, as Paul noted, it's coming from deep within--and you have to write it, it has to get out. Though whether you keep it in later is another thing, and must be decided when you can be more pragmatic about the story as a whole.

And if your reader doesn't tear up, that doesn't make it a bad passage, but just something that didn't resonate the same way with him/her. I've written passages--one in particular--that was exceedingly difficult for me to write, and I bawled getting it out. But someone who read my full story later cried at a different part altogether--she told me her husband thought her allergies were acting up when he saw her because her eyes were so red from crying. But I hadn't shed a drop writing that passage!

It's very subjective. (Boy, I'm not much help here, am I? Sorry! :o )

AyJay
11-14-2009, 01:33 AM
Thanks for the responses.

Dawnny - I wasn't looking for "serious" advice, just reaching out to see if others had experienced similar things when writing. So what you have to say above is helpful. I appreciate that readers are subjective. I've been surprised several times when readers responded positively to a character I wrote who I thought was very incidental to the story. And then some of them don't like a character that I loved writing. So yeah, stepping back to look at the work objectively is key. Right now though, I just want to cry (LOL).

AliceAnderson
11-14-2009, 03:01 AM
I think it's always a good thing when your own work makes you really feel something. I love moments when my own writing makes me laugh. For pages after that I have a big grin on my face. I also like when I make myself sniff or cry because again, if I can make myself feel real emotion after numerous hours of writing, editing, tweaking and pulling my hair out, I know I've got something good.

scarletpeaches
11-14-2009, 03:03 AM
Of course it's a good thing. But as Fuzzface said - making someone else tear up, that's what you want.

The end of my first book made tt42 cry. :D

Paul
11-14-2009, 07:59 PM
Of course it's a good thing. But as Fuzzface said - making someone else tear up, that's what you want.

The end of my first book made tt42 cry. :D

Em, with laughter or relief?:D

Kalyke
11-14-2009, 08:01 PM
Well you don't want them to cry because the writing is bad.

kaitie
11-14-2009, 08:40 PM
I'm more likely to tear up rereading something. I killed off a couple of characters in my last story and the first couple of times I reread it, the MCs reaction would get me. I'm actually at a point where it doesn't affect me as much anymore because I've read through it so many times, though. I figured it was probably a good thing, though.

Libbie
11-14-2009, 09:01 PM
I bawl as I write the emo scenes. The first time I did it, I thought it was just because I'd locked myself in my room to finish the book, and I was fatigued. When I went back through to edit and rewrite, though, I still bawled during those scenes.

So I guess you're not alone. Woot.

I'm pretty sure it's good, since my beta readers responded well to the scenes that made me cry.

colealpaugh
11-14-2009, 09:25 PM
I killed a circus animal my last MS and my nine year old daughter has vowed to never read another word I write. Maybe I'll take it to the Pet Sematary and see if I can make it all better...

Lost World
11-15-2009, 12:48 AM
Yep, that's happened, and the laughter. I've also written scenes so violent and gruesome that I don't like to go back and read them again.

Rhoda Nightingale
11-15-2009, 11:02 PM
I tear up sometimes at my own work, but I try not to, because just like you I'm not sure whether it's because I'm doing it right or just getting too full of myself. However, my fiction workshop leader just told me that the last chapter of my WIP made him cry, and THAT was awesome.

Phaeal
11-16-2009, 07:19 PM
I'm a big cryer. I cry when a book or movie is sad, I cry when it's joyful.* I've cried while writing, too, but much less often than when experiencing a story secondhand.

However, when I write anything at all romantic or erotic, I feel that right off. 'Nough said. ;) I've also scared myself a few times, when writing the spooky stuff. Was that a footstep on the stairs? Did those curtains just move?? Is that BLOOD on the floor??? (Nope, just hot chocolate.)

* Most recent embarrassing episode: Sobbed for an hour over WALL-E. Would stop, would start again. Oh no, I'm tearing up right now, just thinking about it...)

MumblingSage
11-16-2009, 08:19 PM
I've teared up once or twice, never hit full-out crying. Luckily, the lines I tear up at while writing (or re-reading, this happens a fair bit when I'm editing) are the same ones I'd cry at if they were in another book, so I hope I'm not full of myself. Maybe I'm just very sensitive.

I've had one or two people tell me they cried over one story I hadn't found particularily sad, but then, I have a bad track record of thinking my stories are happier than they are.

LostInWonderland
11-17-2009, 04:57 PM
In my case, crying is a very good sign for me if I want the scene to evoke such an emotion. I don't tend to cry easily, so if a scene I'm writing moves me to tears, I know I'm going in the right direction and that it's coming across as honest and real. I'm always a little disappointed when the feeling doesn't return during edits and re-reads, but I think that's pretty normal. As long as the reader feels it on their first go around, I guess that's all that matters.

In my current WIP, I had a bit of an emotional breakdown during a difficult scene, which came as a complete shock to me. I actually had to take a break and pace a little just to calm down. During a re-read, I wondered why my reaction was so strong. It must have just struck a chord with me at that moment. Writing is definitely an emotional roller coaster :tongue

MGraybosch
11-17-2009, 07:37 PM
So has anyone ever cried on their keyboard before? Do you think it's good, bad or indifferent in terms of the quality of what you've written?

Crying on your keyboard is bad -- for your hardware. :)

Judg
11-17-2009, 09:05 PM
I don't cry from my own stuff, perhaps because it never catches me by surprise. But some of it I've found so emotionally intense it has knocked me into a weird headspace for weeks on end. Still trying to figure out how to deal with that... :D This is in the current WIP, so I have no idea how other people will react. I don't normally inflict first drafts on anybody.

Lady Ice
11-17-2009, 09:18 PM
I don't cry from my own stuff but I do feel sad sometimes, empathetic.