Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Sad Romance

I was thinking recently about the way performers use method acting when getting into character or trying to create an emotion in a scene. They reach back in their memories in order to locate a time when those feelings were fresh then focusing they bring them forth once again. As writers I believe we often do the same thing. We look back in our mental files remembering a time when something happened or we felt a certain way then use that to portray what our characters are experiencing.

The only thing I have noticed recently is that pulling up a previous emotion is useful unless you are currently experiencing the opposite feelings. For instance if you are trying to write a love scene for a romance novel but you are going through a break up or large fight with your significant other it can be next to impossible to remember what it felt like to be happy. 

Yet when we are happy in our relationships we are still able to think back in order to find some past pain and draw from that for a more serious topic in our books. Why is it that we can bring forth sorrow, pain and suffering with such greater ease than we can happiness and cheer? I know this does not apply to everyone but for me it is a major struggle. It is one of the reasons I write far more drama and serious novels then lighthearted romance books because I can more freely access the feelings of pain and loss than those of being content in my relationships.

I know part of that is because I have had some rather traumatic relationships, though I know a number of people that have as well, but I have also experienced something most people have not, friendly divorces. Yes I am divorced, twice in fact. Both times the relationships were not ideal. Obviously or they would not have ended but at the same time they both ended rather friendly for being the dissolution of marriages. I know we were happy at the beginning but for some reason it seems more difficult to remember those times.

I remember the loss when they were gone, even though ultimately it was better, it was still a loss. Now as I work on writing and revising one of my romance novels, Breathe, I find that I am still afflicted by loss and sorrow. I have a wonderful boyfriend but I can still remember when I lost others. I have a great life but I can still feel the effects of the sleepless nights. Why is it so difficult to move beyond the sorrow, the grief, in order to find the cheer in life? What do you all do to find the love for romance when your heart still sings for those that are gone?

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