That…basically sums me up today. I have a short fuse, and you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
So I’m working on this piece. It involves two characters, and the entirety of the story is basically the interaction between them. The male character is a young veteran who walks with a cane due to war injuries, and the female character is a young girl who was raped and is in shock, remembering bits and pieces of what happens as she speaks to him. I want the interaction between them to be real; something that would actually happen if these two people met in this circumstance.
I have never been raped, and I have never been a war vet. It’s one of those times when I don’t want to get this shit wrong, you know? And I’m angry at this idea, because it’s giving me things that I don’t really know about. But it won’t get out of my head.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. I know enough about war and what happens in it, but I don’t know it first hand. I know rape, and I’ve seen women who survived it, but hearing stories and reading memories and writing a realistic portrayal of a rape victim are two different things and I guess…I’m scared. And being scared to write makes me angry. This is a piece that is going to need really honest constructive criticism to work, and I’m afraid I won’t be able to find someone who can give me that to make it what it should be.
I guess I do have to write it first.
But this is the issue I have when I’m writing. Instead of just doing it, I get caught up in whether I’m going to be able to write a character right, or if I’m going to be too descriptive of a comparatively minimal scene, or if my dialogue seems fake, or whether I can actually accurately depict an event. It sucks, but it’s really hard to turn off. I think that writing about it helps, but at the same time it’s time that could be spent writing the damn story in the first place and then having all my fears proven wrong because they almost always are.
I think a lot of people have this issue. I wonder sometimes how many really good writers are paralyzed by anger and fear in this way, so much so that we never know they exist. This is what makes me angry, really. The fact that anxiety and fear can hold you back from so much. Breaking free of it is always harder than it should be. I think that’s because what you need is someone who can actually be honest with you and what you get is people who will pat you on the back, say you’re doing a good job, and then tell you to keep going.
So I’m going to write this thing, and then I’m going to find an honest, trustworthy person to give it a read-through and tell me what I can do better. And then I’m going to revise it and find another honest, trustworthy person and do it all again. I like this story. Fuck if I’m going to let my own anxiety and fear keep me from writing it anymore.
Oh, and somehow “Tom Hiddleston Meets Cookie Monster” comes up as related to this in the box below. That made me laugh out loud for about 3 minutes.