Because of the problem I'm having with this story, I decided to re-read the comments my mentor made on previous works I had written. Yikes! I have had this trouble since the beginning of my writing career, so why is emotion so hard to write.
The only thing I can think of is that we're taught at an early age to (try) control our emotions. I remember being told for most of my life of being a toddler throwing a temper tantrum on the floor and having a glass of water thrown in my face. My mom said it shocked me and stopped my tantrum.
Okay, a story is easy to tell, but it's not always simple to show, or get deep into the character's thoughts. I'm going to give you a couple of samples, and you tell me which one is the best.
Sample 1: The curly headed blonde two-year-old kicked her heels on the kitchen floor, screaming at the top of her lungs. "No! No!" Tears streamed from her blue eyes down her round pink cheeks.
Sample 2: The curly headed blonde toddler kicked her heels on the floor, her eyes and face scrunched in anger screaming. "Stop this nonsense, Sandra," her mother said. She watched for a few seconds. What can I do? She couldn't bear to spank her, or hurt this small being, but she needs discipline. She grabbed a glass and stuck it under the faucet filling it full. "I'm warning you young lady. This is your last chance." Without hesitation, she threw the water in her daughter's face. Quiet!
These examples aren't perfect, but which one do you think works best? In the first one, you see the child's anger, and in the second one you still see the child's anger, but you also feel the mother's frustration and desire not to hit her toddler. Both show emotions, but one has more details and lets you know the child isn't alone.
Thank you for reading. Now, I must get back to my edits and do a lot more revising. I'm so fortunate to have a great editor because when this story is ready to be published it will be super good.
I forgot to tell you the title has changed from Hitting Bottom to All Bets Are Off, and really the new title is a better fit for the story.
Have a great week, and I'll be back next Sunday.
Sandra K. Marshall, author @