If these Woods Could Kill…

In case you haven’t read “Beyond the Tending Hand,” “A Pagan and a Vegan on Sustainability Ethics,” or Dragon’s comment, let me share a little secret: I’m passionate about plants.

My love for greenery often shows up in my writing. Every now and then the signs are bright, free and wild; other times, my passion sprouts in dark places. This is a blessing—passion is invigorating, right?—but it can turn into a curse, if not handled properly within my fiction.

Yesterday, for instance, things were getting a bit ridiculous. After spending too much time on the phone, listening to a friend go on and on about the evils of eating meat, I went back to writing. I was working on a scene where a character is “holding the handle of a thin knife, the blade piercing another character’s face through one cheek.” My main character (a magic user who happens to be carrying enough guns and knives to supply three armies) goes ahead and communicates with a nearby plant, so that the latter can combat the knife wielding psychopath with kindness.

My Wicked Luvs, I’m pretty sure I saw Luna Bravo (my main character)glaring at me from the other side of the screen. Asking me, “Why are you using my story to deal with your issues? If that idiot kills my friend because the plant magic is too slow, I swear I’ll jump out of your mind and slice you up with the dark moon coated blade I should be using to end this scene.”

Yes, my characters are murderously imaginative. And thank goodness for that. They can be patient, too, so Luna understood that I needed to finish writing the scene with the slow plant doing the deed. Then I went back and murder some of my darlings.

Okay, I wrote “Beyond the Tending Hand” first. Once the Veggie-Muncher vs. Meat-Chomper frustration oozed out of me, Luna was able to show her own emotions. There are no animated plants in the edited/rewritten scene. And after all is carved and done, the reader knows more about the main character’s personality and less about what pisses off the writer.

Do your emotions bite into your fictional characters? If so, how do you deal with the issue?
Chomp, chomp, chomp ;-)
Killer Plants” by Jesse
I had not idea rosemary plants could grow such vicious teeth! Wait until I tell AlmaMia ;-)

***

Now, the winners of “AlmaMia Cienfuegos” and a critique giveaway!
Hm… I forgot how many names went into the cauldron... 10 or 13 *sigh*
Well, these are the two that came out:
 
Congratulations, Diandra and Diane (D-force is strong with these ones)
Diandra, email me your first chapter or short story. Diane, send me your email address.
magalyguerrero @ live . com

21 comments:

  1. I often kill things and people in my stories to get rid of frustratoin (or anger or hate). Other times the emotions from my stories seep into everyday life and make me act weird around reality. I once tried writing about something that had nothing to do with "my" world, and what can I say? I felt used. (And not in a good way.)

    (Right now I have the problem that my new protagonist, at the beginning of her story, is so much light and love that I would like to shake her until she vomits some common sense.)

    Oh, by the way: Yay! But can you wait a few days? I will have to translate the chapter in question first. Should not take too long, I hope... I'll mail it to you as soon as it's done!

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    1. Our stories are our children, I guess. Some sweet, some spoiled, some get on our nerves so deeply that we have to wonder why we love them all so much. Weird.

      I know what you mean about wanting "to shake" a character for acting so ridiculous. I get annoyed when a character doesn't see what's going on right in front of her/him... There are times when I just want to cheat and tell them, but it doesn't work *sigh*

      Take your time with the chapter, luv. Send it when you are ready. Congrats again!

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  2. After reading through this, and the post on Pagan Culture about this Veganazi, I must say well played! If you ever come head-to-empty-head with another one like that, remind them about the scientific studies done on plants that show well-loved green and growing things thrive better than ignored or hated ones. It's one of my favorite things. :D

    As for emotions in my writing... that could be one of the reasons my writing is so stunted. As I think about it now, it almost seems that the characters I allow to feel their own emotions write themselves better than the ones I try to use for catharsis. Hmm... I must further investigate this quandary. Dammit, Mags! lol!

    Please be nice to Luna. I wouldn't want her leaping out of the pages and murdering one of my favorite wicked wordy people, because then there would be no more of those wonderful wicked words <3

    -Fox

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    1. I will definitely point out the studies. I doubt she'll listen, but at least it will get her to go away and read something lol

      I usually write the things I need to write to purge emotional overload as blog posts or as part of a journal. Sometimes on a piece of paper and burn them. I use my emotions towards the benefit of my writing, too. For instance, if I'm really pissed, I write a scene where I know the character had a horrid day (it's one of the benefits of plotting ;-)

      I shall be nice to miss Bravo!

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  3. Oh, and congrats to the winners! Meant to say that before I hit 'publish'.... *sheepish look*

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  4. Hmm...that is a good question - how much would you transfer your own emotions in your character? as far as I understood about of few of my writings, I did it a lot. One story was somehow a projection of my future, like a prediction which actually materialized. It scared me though. But one, even trying to hide behind the colorful (or dark) plot, will leave his'her traces in his/er creation nevertheless. I think you shall accept it and let it come!

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    1. I completely agree. Much of who we are stays in our stories; behind all the trees I plant in my plot, all the witchery... there I am. Things get back when a character react a certain way as a direct reaction of my moods though.

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    2. And not related to our discussion : the candle looks so much at home!

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  5. I appreciate the quote there Mags, the personification of plant life in fiction is a difficult endeavor for most, especially getting past the idea of "photosynthesis" as a thought process, lol. As far as keeping your emotions out of your characters, I find that it is better to incorporate your characters emotional reactions to things over the course of the period you are doing your writing helps a lot. Instead of reacting to things from your stand point stand back and say well, how would "Tim Collinder, hyperactive ne'er do well Artificer" react to this circumstance? For example. ~Dragon

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    1. I've always thought of photosynthesis as feeding. "Thought process," huh? Interesting...

      The idea of forcing our character react exactly as we would is a bit scary, and presents a perfect recipe for total boredom. Just imagine, all he characters would be the same--the writer pretty much. What a freaking nightmare!

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  6. If my rosemary plants start growing teeth like that they better be on my side!!! I am a "cut and burn" kinda gal :D XXX

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    1. I hope your rosemary plant didn't hear you thinking that!

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  7. I just wanted to comment and say that I just glanced at your bookshelf and saw you are reading Bless Me Ultima...I just read it myself last month! Great choice!

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    1. I'm enjoying Bless Me, Ultima very much. I have been waiting for it, I wanted it to be a treat. So far, it's being true ;-)

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  8. You have so much patience than I when someone is blathering on! Hmm...rosemary doesn't grow for me as well as German chamomile, mints, & mugwort. No room for a container for mugwort this season, maybe next time. Wonder what kind of teeth mints would have, being a sort of trip-inducing plant ;) Or valerian.

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    1. I think mint will have sharp pretty teeth. She would smile a lot, too. And do her best to speak really close to your face, so that you can smell her minty breath lol

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  9. Congrats on the two D's ;o) Keep chomping girl ;o)

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  10. I love plants my self. :) WOW!! I love your mind. Your own character wanting to stab you for destroying the story you are writing with your issues. Makes me wish I was sitting in the same room as you. ;)

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    1. My Piano Man likes to watch me when I'm writing--especially if I don't know he's watching. I tend to cackle, and talk to myself... sometimes I start crying. Aw, the world of fiction... so many emotions and stabbings ;-D

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