Writing About the Worst Thing

I’ve been avoiding the end of my manuscript because it is about upsetting things that are pretty fresh in my mind. But I would also like to finish the manuscript before I’m 80, so I’m going in.

Do you remember the Monty Python (I think) joke about the funniest joke in the world? Translators could only translate a few words at a time because they would die laughing otherwise. This is how I feel about my manuscript, only it isn’t funny.

I’m doing one scene at a sitting. Any more and I’d be miserable. Try not to work on it when other shit is going on. Today is sunny. Maybe I can do the whole chapter today (my chapters are pretty short.).

There are four of these emotional kryptonite chapters. I’ve waded my way through two of them and today I’m going to get to the third. The fifth chapter will be half emotional kryptonite and half humorous. And then, by god, I’ll be done with this draft.

How do you write about the most painful thing that has happened to you thus far?


6 responses to “Writing About the Worst Thing

  1. There’s a saying by a famous writer. Apologies, I forget who.

    It’s not writing about what happened to me, but writing about what I’ve done to other people that’s most painful.

  2. I write a lot of this kind of thing in my journal, and I manage to get through it because I know how cathartic it is. I nearly always am glad I put it down in words and sorted it out.

    • I have found that sometimes I realize something new, and that is cathartic. Right now, for the manuscript, writing the scenes seems less cathartic to me. I probably just haven’t figured out the new thing yet.

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