MUSHY STUFF KEEPS SLIPPING IN
Posted on April 9, 2012
While more and more of my writing features a renewed interest in ramping up the action and jeopardy, I still find myself coming back to the familiar territory that rings true in my work: the mushy, sentimental scene.
I'm a softy at heart. OLD YELLER makes me cry. BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA and THE CAY, when I have to reread them to prepare my novel study lessons for each, always bring me to tears. I find a good cry cathartic and creates a deep tie to a piece of literature.
Well, those emotionally-committed scenes work their way into my writing quite regularly. Readers of the first GRAHAM know that emotion and remembrance carry a great deal of weight in the book's plot and resolution. Graham's relationship with his father and grandfather resonates and deepens the message of the book. Yes, I cried when I wrote the final sentence of that book.
Anyway, I found the emotional scenes came fast and furious in GRAHAM2. It's a tear-jerking blockbuster, quite frankly. And I had little idea they would be coming on so strong. The Widow Stemmel and her warm rapport with Graham weren't in the first outline. Laroonae the harpy and her heartfelt plight weren't there either. Graham and Flenn's back and forth with Blord was sort of there, but it developed a richness and back story that raises the emotional stakes. Flenn's vulnerability and courage and Graham's drive and heroic strivings were there in the initial outline, but the dual nature of the narrative creates a wonderful emotional immediacy and allows the reader to analyze scenes from differing perspectives.
Many times I feared going too sappy, but the genuine reality and personality of my main characters, two sibling gargoyles, can carry the emotional weight and not have it tilt into the realm of the schmaltzy and downright cheesy.
So, if you want your stories with consequence and suspense along with emotional blowback that truly affects the plot, the character and the reader, then look no further than GRAHAM2. It won't disappoint.
Now, if you'll excuse me. I think I have something in my eye.