Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh created IWSG — because Alex understands we need a place to congregate, insecurity is part of our creative nature, and together we’re stronger.
On the first Wednesday of each month, you can write on any subject related to your writing journey or adopt the option of answering the month’s question. Either way, you’re in safe territory.
If this sounds good to you, sign up here.
IWSG’s Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and the hashtag is #IWSG.
Every month, a specific question is offered, which may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or a story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you struggle with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional!
In answer to this month’s question:
I don’t set out to write scenes that leave me conflicted. I respond to the question posed and write the story that follows. There’s no focus on the message, nothing profound going on except to let the story unfold.
We’ve all heard the saying: Write What You Know. I’ve witnessed firsthand how dark and lonely the world can be, a world full of contrast: joyful, devastating, and serene. In my novels my protagonist confront their greatest fears and, in the end, understand that suffering is part of life. Contentment and peace are a choice.
I was conflicted when I wrote the opening to Maski: Broken But Not Dead because my protagonist Brendell Meshango is the victim of a home invasion. A masked perpetrator physically and mentally abuses her for 24 hours before vanishing.
Violence against women in Canada is a serious problem. Over 25% (probably more) are Aboriginal. Across the world, 137 women are murdered every day. The thought that my scene would be construed as exploitation makes my insides cringe. I find violence against anyone abhorrent—no matter the justification.
When I completed Maski I reread my draft and pulled the scene. Three weeks later I toned down the brutality and put the scene back. A month later, I pulled it again. Five months later I reread the manuscript and knew that because of who Brendell is (50 and full of rage) she’d have to be pushed in order to take action. My publisher agreed. (smile)
I’ve struggled with other scenes in other manuscripts. I probably always will. I’m a writer; I’m occasionally insecure. Luckily, I have good instincts and know enough to trust myself. The themes of my novels are basically the same: No matter how horrible life gets, never give up and never surrender.
On another subject, I’ve thrilled to be back after some serious issues with my laptop. Unfixable glitches, so I’m crossing my fingers that my computer continues to run until October when I hope to replace it. Or maybe I’ll get lucky and my MacBook will make a full recovery!
I could say more on so many subjects but I’ll spare you. Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to visit your blog.
ps. We have another set of twins in the neighbourhood. I tried to download a short video but my Macbook wasn’t having any of that. Hopefully, a pic does them justice. They’re mule deer and instead of trotting across our property, they bounce. It brings joy to my heart every time they appear. When the deer are gone, mama bear and her three cubs stroll by. My MacBook wouldn’t let me upload the pics.