Writing Emotional Scenes

I am not an emotional kind of girl. I’d rather joke about a problem than hash it out. When I see really emotional scenes in movies (say, funeral processions, break-ups, declarations of love, the like) I laugh. I know that’s terrible, but I can’t help it. Something about it just strikes me as hilarious.

Naturally, this creates a problem when I have to write an emotional scene. There’s a lot at stake for all parties involved, but it’s kind of hard for me to write about problems when I’m living the high life.

When I wrote the scene in Summer Rush when Rush finally admits his feelings about his mom and his relationship, it was hard. For starters, I had no idea it was coming. Something entirely different was supposed to happen there, but that’s beside the point. Rush was hurt, confused – he was putting his heart out there and just hoping that Lexi would understand.

I, on the other hand? I was sitting on my comfy bed, eating a cookie, and listening to my favorite song on my iPod. I was in no mental mind-set to write about any kind of tough feelings.

So I had to break it down. I polished off my cookie, turned on my playlist of sad songs, and moved from my cushy bed to the hard floor. I had to put myself into Rush’s shoes, which was not easy by any stretch of the imagination.

I’m not an only child. My mom loves my siblings and I all equally, and I’ve never felt the slightest bit unsure about that. But I wrote myself into that corner, so I had to use my imagination. And I kind of got it. Writing the scene was hard, but I got Rush; I understood him.

I still laugh at emotional stuff in movies, and usually end up saying something along the lines of “I can’t stand this sappiness!” and hit fast-forward. But I admit, I have a greater respect for the people who have to write those scenes and make them believable.

Rush’s scene will probably get rewritten and edited into an entirely new shape, but I’m still giving myself a pat on the back for having written it in the first place ^_^


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