I've been working on the second Reeferman story for eight months now, and I've had a lot of trouble trying to invoke the emotions that the character needed. I wrote over twenty pages for a scene, lost control of the characters, and had to scrap it all because it wasn't working. Work on the story was frozen for a few months, with nothing coming to mind. And then, not too long ago, the spark was re-ignited. There was a reason to go on with the task, a motivation that came from outside.
I spent the time to read everything I had written, to reacquaint myself with Tom Overholt: the Green Coyote. I was reminded of his sense of humor, jovial when first we met then dark and cynical as he took his revenge. I relived the rage that had brought his vengeance to life, enjoyed the pleasure he felt at finishing his personal war on a cartel. And as I sat there, staring at four out of six needed scenes, I questioned what I needed to feel if I intended to finish my own task of a completed story.
The mind is a funny thing, and insomnia is a bitch. For a few weeks now I've been having bad dreams, for lack of a better word. Waking up in the middle of the night sucks, especially when you are waking someone else up in the process. It puts a strain on things. On top of it, this entire week I have found myself unable to shut my brain down, to find the sleep that I desperately need. So, I decided I would put my sleepless nights to good use.
Since Monday I have finished the fifth scene, pushing the thoughts that kept me awake out of my mind, choosing instead to focus on the destruction of a hidden airport belonging to the fictitious cartel that Overholt is fighting. It worked out well to say the least. However, the last remaining scene, the one part that I have struggled to wrap my head around, is proving difficult to put on paper.
Not because I don't know it; the emotions and the visuals needed aren't a foreign concept anymore. The problem is that, right now in my life they are a little close to home. As fountain pen glides across the notebook paper, I'm not expressing fallacies or mere shadows of a memory. I'm writing out my own life as it happens. Though the setting and circumstances are impossible to compare, the thoughts and fears are quite real I can assure you.
That makes it hard to write... Because I'm not sure I want to recognize these emotions in myself. I don't want to feel these feelings, and yet here I am at five in the morning, thinking the thoughts that have been keeping me awake all week. Why? Because they are feelings and emotions that Overholt just happens to be dealing with in this particular part of the story.
It was always meant to be this way, he was always supposed to struggle with these thoughts and these emotions. That's where the hard part came in at first, I had to fabricate them and it wasn't working. Now the problem is that I don't have to fabricate them, I just happen to find myself feeling them and thinking them and worrying over them. And that's not where I want to be right now. It sucks.
Thankfully, or tragically, I'm a method writer. It's a lot like being a method actor in that I need to be that character, but instead of playing at it, all I have to do is write. But, I still feel it... And that is going to make this scene hard as hell to get out.