Hello! I’m Joshua Winning and I write things. As I start work on a new book, I’m going to chart my journey from concept to completion. Wanna come? This week: feelings.
Books are all about emotion. How does a story make you feel? Do the characters inspire empathy or apathy? A book is made to make you feel something, and while emotion is delicate and intangible, the best writers make capturing it look easy.
My editor on Vicious Rumer crystallised that for me when he suggested removing the book’s epilogue. “I’m not sure it leaves you with the right feeling,” he said of a coda that didn’t really do anything, and he couldn’t have been more right. Cutting the epilogue meant the book ended with a very specific feeling.
In my last post, I talked about planning a new book. I decided to research, write character bios, make mood boards and all that fun stuff. I ended up doing it for two projects – one a locked-in psychological thriller, the other a gay YA horror.
All that was great fun and really helped me zero in on exactly what I wanted to achieve with each book, but the big thing I realised is this: the book I’ve decided to sit down and write is the one that captured the feeling I want to explore at the moment.
That got me thinking about all the crazy stuff you feel as a writer throughout the whole process. Writing, editing, publishing, promoting… Sometimes those feelings are overwhelming. Here are a few that crop up time and again for me…
The Seven Deadly Emotions Of Writing
“Oh god this is going to be awful. I can’t write. I shouldn’t be allowed to even try. Where’s the coffee/biscuits/pacifier?”
“There’s no point doing this because it’s way too much effort when I could be sitting watching repeats of RuPaul.”
“Woohoo, this is so new and everything’s shiny and I can basically do whatever I like because it’s my world. This is sooooo fuuuuun!”
“Why isn’t this written already? What do you mean I have to figure out what everybody says and what happens next? Can’t this just be done?”
“Wow, that sentence was actually good!”
“Well it’s done now. It is what it is. It’s done and I can’t do anything about it.”
“Why am I eating dinner when I should be starting the next book?!”
Until next time!