A far amount of writing fiction is about the mechanics of writing. It’s important to get the spelling of words right. Good grammar is also essential. And then you also have to put words together into your sentences so that they make sense and don’t confuse your reader.
Beyond all that are the story and the characters.
You might think that all you have to do is create a cast of interesting characters and put them into compelling situations and you are done. But in my opinion, you would be wrong.
For me, writing is an emotional endeavor. I find that to write convincingly about what a character is feeling, I have to imagine myself feeling that emotion. And the imagining more often than not leads to actually feeling the emotion.
It can be exhausting.
And when I find that I have run out of enough energy to continue “feeling” for my characters, I have to stop writing. I wonder at those times how it is for other authors.
Because my stories are so deeply character-driven, perhaps it is a little more so for me than for authors of, say, action-adventure type of novels. But I can’t help thinking that all authors have to really feel what they are writing about in order to write about it effectively.
Luckily, sometimes all I need is a short break. Other times, I might not write again for days. And that bothers me because if I wish to make this my job, then I have to approach it as I would any job. And that means spending time at it at least five days a week.
The times when my own emotions are running strong because of life circumstances also make it difficult for me to write. And that is another thing I wonder about for other authors.
I don’t think you can write any sort of fiction without considering the emotions of your characters. So I would really like to know how all of you other authors of fiction feel about this issue and what you do to keep writing no matter what.