July 8th 2019
"What Was Your Hardest Scene To Write?"
If you ask any writer what kind of scenes they find hardest to write, you’re going get a lot of different answers, depending on the author.
In fact, many of us have scenes we absolutely won’t write, unless the story won’t work without it. For me, that would be sex scenes.
But there are some scenes that are not only hard to write, but hard to read once completed. And there’s one scene that wasn’t just hard to write, but it made me cry to do so…
A Little Background
When I first started writing, I had huge plans for a novel, and only a rough idea of the characters involved, and little in the way of plot, and the book title “The COSTS of Living”.
There’s a reason I also call my first draft my exploratory draft. It’s where I take my rough ideas, and try to figure out what the story is really about, and who the main characters are.
Well, once I started writing, my characters started talking… And boy, did I have a few things wrong, and more so than I expected.
- Roger Evans refused to answer to his name, which is not a good trait for a main character.
- Roger was also supposed to be an active, willing member of the COvert Supernatural Tactical Strikeforce. And that was just too much of a mouthful to keep using.
- Instead he seemed to be very reluctant to participate in their activities, unless they affected him somehow. Which they did, considering I killed someone he grew up with in the original opening scene.
- More importantly, my ideas of having him come from a normal background also went out of the window.
- I apparently was also supposed to be writing a short story series that preceded the novel itself.
And Richard Gave Me A Revised Background
Roger Evans became Richard Evan Parsons, and a little more cooperative. Sure, he became a lot easier to write, but he still throws me the occasional surprise, even after 5 years.
COSTS became the SPD:STF (Seattle Police Department: Supernatural TaskForce), and Richard became an orphan from a broken home. He grew up in the street gangs of Seattle, but there were a couple of people he learned to trust.
Once I had those pieces of information, a lot of things suddenly snapped into sharper focus, and I had an outline for “Under A Hunter’s Moon”. This is the story containing the scene that makes me cry to re-read it – even almost five years after it’s first release.
Why Does The Scene Make Me Cry?
This is a very complicated question, because there are a number of reasons, some of which I can’t go into without giving away plot points. Here’s a few of the reasons though:
- While it was the second scene I’d written involving a death, it was a far more intimate one than the first. I think this is partly due to the fact that it’s a short story, so all the emotions are compressed into a very small word count.
- As I was writing the scene it was the first time I really connected with Richard on an emotional level. I came to understand why he’d been so reluctant to open up about his past, and where his future was going.
- It’s an event that became much larger in scope than I had originally expected, impacting the lives of more than one character (and gave me a chance to build some surprises into later stories).
So Which Scene Is It?
There’s a sure-fire way for you to discover which scene still brings me to tears every time I read it.
I’m giving away copies of “Under A Hunter’s Moon” as a gift to readers who join my mailing list. You’ll also get:
- News about my writing
- Information about events I’m taking part in (both live and online)
- Access to insider news and surveys
- Exclusive newsletter only coupon codes and offers
Once you’ve read the story, be sure to comment on which scene you think makes me cry. I’d be very interested to see if it affects you the same way.
Check Out The Rest Of The Entries
Several authors take part in these weekly blog challenges from the “Open Book” group. So, if you want to see what they consider to be common traps for aspiring authors, click the link below.
About The Open Book Blog Hops
“Open Book” is a group of writers who get together each week to answer some of the questions that people pose about our work.
Each week they ask the writers to write a blog post on the same topic, and then share their post with each other’s readers.
It’s a great way to get some insights into how different writers attack the same challenges in different ways.