Writer’s Notes: Puttin’ the Hurt On

I have a really bad habit of injuring my heroines. Without delving
too deeply into why it’s usually my female characters who have to bear
the brunt of physical pain, I found myself insanely annoyed the other
day when having to write around a character’s injuries. Mainly because
it is going to require some research in revisions as to how long that
particular wound would *actually* take to heal, the stages of healing,
re-injury possibilities, etc.

Also,
I’m tired of having to figure out how to get her places while making
allowances for her wound. Because you know, I can’t ever write these
things half-way…there is no “simple scrape on the arm” with me. If I’m
going to hurt someone (um, on paper), I don’t generally go half-way.
Because that wouldn’t be nearly dramatic enough.

*eyeroll*

Yes,
I do realize that if I were a planner rather than a pantser, this
probably wouldn’t be so much of an issue, because I’d have thought it
out ahead of time. But where’s the fun in that? And what would I have to
complain about if I knew what was going to happen before it happened?

On
a brighter note, I’m well on my way to amassing serious knowledge on
how the body works, heals, and just how much suffering it can deal with
before saying “screw it, I’m done.” Adrenaline, anyone? So you know,
there is that…

I can’t complain too much though – I mean, I
do this to myself. In my erotica stories, no one gets seriously maimed
or hurt, ever (which you’ll agree is a bit ironic, if you’ve ever read
one). And those stories seem to turn out fine. Actually, more people buy
those.
Hmm. Maybe I should look into that more
closely. Perhaps readers object to my fictional violence towards women?
I honestly can’t tell you why it happens, it just does. I tend to write
by asking myself, “what’s the worst thing that could happen here?” and
then I write that. Apparently for my romantic suspense and thriller
heroines, the worst thing that could happen is being physically damaged
in some way. Which we all know isn’t true in all cases, but it’s
interesting to note. I think it’s because the physical wound makes it
that much harder for my strong women to do what they need to do – and
they will always, without fail, find the inner strength to push through
to the end.
But what if that isn’t the worst
thing that could happen? What if I’m neglecting the emotional wreckage I
could be putting them through instead? I’m going to have to ponder that
too – the erotica deals far more with the psychological than the
physical. Perhaps I need to bring more of that out of the bedroom, so to
speak.
Hmm. Much to think about today.
All this pondering has given
me an epiphany about one of my rom. suspense stories that readers are
not going to like. But truly, it is the *worst* thing that can possibly
happen, in a very psychological way, and it’s going to push my heroine
over the edge. This particular heroine has escaped major physical injury
to this point. No one is safe though, until I write “The End”. 


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