Going Butt First

When my 1-year-old is having problems falling asleep, he fights it and fights it, but then flops over onto his belly, sticks his butt in the air and falls quickly asleep.  Watching him, I thought maybe I could solve some of my writing problems the same way.  When I tried it at home, I realized I was in danger of getting saddled with a third “oops” child.  At work, I believe they were thinking of resending me to the HR seminar that talked about proper workplace etiquette. So hoping for a less obvious method of getting past a blockade, I figure I’ll ask the lovely Waterworld ladies.

My problem:  when I write my stories, I seem to be writing more motion than emotion.  I gravitate toward describing what the character is doing, rather than what she/he is feeling or experiencing.  I realize there is finesse in being able to entwine both, but I haven’t found it yet.  I do realize my difficulty in getting the reader into my character’s head probably stems from the fact that I would rather flop on my belly and stick my butt in the air on a busy downtown street, than exeprience intense emotions.  I don’t like them.  And I don’t welcome them.  But at the same time, writing is an outlet.  So it becomes a double edged sword.

So how do you lovely ladies do it? (not the butt trick.. my 1-year-old has the market cornered on that one).  What do you do to submerge yourself into the scene, the character.

All thoughts and comments are welcome.  Including ones that kindly request I don’t perform the butt trick  in public.

6 thoughts on “Going Butt First

  1. I’m totally requesting you do the butt trick next time I see you! This is so funny!

    I may not be the best one to ask considering I have been procrastinating all day (all week). I have one little scene to write but instead I’ve been on Twitter, read the paper, called my BFF and we pretended to be on a work call but really discussed that new show, Smash. So yeah, I don’t know.

    Although… one time I pretended I WAS my character and that she was being interviewed on Oprah. What would she say? Why would she say it. Maybe that will help. 😉

    1. Nope, no butt tricks.. 🙂
      And I’m with you on the procrastination.
      Good idea on imagining you are in the person’s skin.

  2. Hi Masha. Great question. Submersion into a private moment between two people. It’s tough. But the odds are on our side since these people live in our heads. We get to see everything, hear everything, feel everything. Maybe you could imagine your two characters holding each other or sitting alone in a small, dark room. (Not that this would be one of the scenes in your book-just an experiment to get at their emotions) You can’t see the setting because there’s just not enough light. They can’t escape each other because they’re nearly skin to skin. The only thing they are allowed to do is feel. Now add in whatever their actual issue are with each other in the story and write about that.

    1. OOoooohh, that’s hot, Carlene-Mermaid! You should totally write a love scene like that! 😉

    2. Hey Carlene,
      THANK YOU!! That’s a great idea. I do find it’s helpful to think of something to get in the mood of writing. Very interesting! very helpful!!

  3. Masha, try thinking about your character’s motion and how it expresses his/her emotion. Someone is at work. He is angry about a situation, but the coffee still needs to be made. He tears the bag too quickly and the grounds spill, making the mess even bigger.

    A heroine is trying to get ready for a date. She doesn’t want to go. Or maybe she’s really excited to be going! She puts on way too much blush. Later, she’s terrified of her situation and bloodies her wrists against the ropes. Whoops, maybe that date wasn’t a good idea after all…

    In my WIP, the heroine is painting over a mural to hide it. She’s being sneaky and doesn’t want to do it. She feels nauseous and blames the paint fumes. Paint drips down her wrist and she feels even worse. The grass is wet and feels slimy against her ankles.

    Motions can be emotions. Go there. Good luck!

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