Friday, February 06, 2009

It's An Emotional Thing

Last night my daughter was watching Two Brothers, a wonderful tale about two tiger cubs who are separated from their mother, lead very different lives, and are eventually reunited. Set in Thailand in the 1920s, there is a scene where a hunter must get a tiger skin and he goes to a local circus. One of the two brothers is at this circus - but so is an older tiger. When the hunter says he needs a tiger skin by tomorrow, you know the older tiger is going to get it.

I had to leave the room because I started to cry. Tears welled in my eyes as I thought about this poor innocent animal being slaughtered for man's greed. It was tears of sadness, tears of anger, and tears of frustration. Yes, I know this is a movie. But I also know that things like this happen in our world. My daughter is on a mission to save the tigers and I hope that when she grows up, she will keep to her promise to save them - if there are any left.

But the whole situation just reminded me that I am a creature of emotions. Some people can watch a movie like that and it doesn't affect them at all. Not me. Heck, I cry at commercials, for heaven's sake! If I know a movie is going to be sad (as I have heard Marley & Me is), I refuse to go to the theater to see it because I know I will end up bawling. And I hate having people see me cry.

Disney movies, books, pictures, and even blog posts will often reduce me to tears. At times I am embarassed by it because the tears seem to come so darn easily. I don't know if I've always been so prone to it, but within the last few years, I've really noticed it.

I guess this all means that I'm just an emotional gal. And I hope I can translate those emotions onto the page. That's the challenge, thought, to get your readers to feel what your characters are feeling, no matter if it's joy, sadness, anger, or elation.

I'm keeping that in mind as I edit the novel. And if I shed a few tears or laugh out loud because of what my characters are experiencing, then I guess I've accomplished what I set out to do.


  1. I'm with you on the tears!I cry about everything. And yes, I always know that if my story brings me to tears--it's pretty good or at least a good start!

  2. My wife even cries at OnStar commercials so I know what you mean even though I'm not much of a crier.

  3. Mo, I'm a big cryer as well. I bawled just reading Marley and Me, so there's no way I'll ever be able to watch it. I think being connected to your emotions is a great thing.

  4. I never, ever watch films about animals because I know they'll always, always be sad. I watch films for entertainment and enjoyment. Heck, I can bawl my eyes out at life - and seem to be doing plenty of my fair share at the moment - so I'm not about to escape into a film to do more of the same. Animal films, even the likes of the Beethoven series, are a no-no.

  5. LOL! I'm so with you on the crying thing... I can't help myself... the only time I DON'T cry is if it's something seriously happening to me (then I laugh--which is just as bad... I mean, to cry but the emotion that come out is nervous, scared laughter!)

  6. I'm very emotional too, and I just hope that I manage to translate those feelings effectively into my writing.

  7. Hugs from one emotional gal to another.

    *thumps chest with fist*

  8. It means you have retained your humanity.

    That's a beautiful thing in these times, and that enables you to spin stories that connect with people.

    One of the reasons this country is in such a mess is that those without humanity, who only retrain greed, have been in charge for so long.

    I heard about that scene in the movie, which is why I couldn't watch it. I would have totally lost it.

  9. Your last paragraph should be printed and framed! I'm a titty baby too. Oh, those old Hallmark commercials and the Peanuts Great Pumpkin special! :)

  10. So apparently you and I should never go see a sad movie together or we'll flood the theatre. I didn't watch a lot of Disney movies as a kid, cause I just couldn't take the harrowing tales, especially where animals were concerned. And I STILL cry each time I see the M*A*S*H episode when Colonel Blake dies.

    But you're right - such extreme emotion does help with the writing process.

  11. Terri - I really wish I DIDN'T cry at the drop of a hat. I was reading a children's book to my daughter the other night and started bawling! :-)

    Travis - I think I've cried at OnStar commercials, too. Haha.

    Hey Gail! No, I don't think I'll be able to watch that movie unless it's in the privacy of my own home and I have a huge box of Kleenex.

    Diane - I don't think I've ever watched an animal film and not cried - cartoon OR real.

    Giddy - I'm the same way!

    Debs - That's the key, isn't it? To try and translate what you're feeling onto the page. Hope I can do it, too.

    Janna - Right back at ya!

    Devon - There are SO MANY scenes in that movie that just tug at my heart. It ends happily, but goodness. You go through a lot when you watch it.

    Angie - I think I cry at the Peanuts' Christmas special, too! Poor Charlie Brown...

    Tess - Oh my goodness. Dumbo and Bambi...those were two that really got to me when I was little. And now it's almost ANY animal movie. :-)

  12. I think being so emotional shows how in tune you are to people and their circumstances, which can only translate to amazing writing, wringing tears from your readers! Go for it, happy editing!

  13. No way can I watch animal films. They are *always* sad. I read 'Marley and Me' and that was bad enough - no way could I watch the film without bawling my eyes out.

  14. I'm with you too. I think it started with Bambi when his mother was gone and I realized what happened to her. It's a good outlet, crying. Takes care of the ripples that shake us inside. I love a good cry.

  15. I never did see "The Incredible Journey" all the way through, either.

  16. Joanne - I *hope* it translates to amazing writing! :-)

    Shirley - The bad thing is, I really would like to see Marley & Me because it looks like such a good movie. But I know how it ends and I'd be thinking about my beloved Charlie, which would only make me cry harder.

    Joy - You're very right - crying is a GREAT outlet. Sometimes I know I cry because I just need to get it out. I think this is mostly reserved for women, though, as men would probably rather punch something instead. ;-)

    Tess - I don't remember if I've seen that one.

  17. Sounds like we have a lot in common-besides a love of history-I cried at that movie too. My daughter owns it and I couldn't believe it got to me like that.

  18. Hi Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, that movie is SO good, but it's also very emotional. I'm amazed at how well they were able to get the animals to "act" like they did.

  19. Melissa, I'm SO with you! But I don't think I could even START to watch that movie. I love animals and animal movies, but... I'm just a sobbing mess through the whole thing. Gosh, Melissa, even the comedic ones. Remember "Polly" about a parrot? (I had a bird.) I sobbed! Ohmigosh did I sob!

  20. Spy - Oh yes, I remember Polly! I cried, too!

  21. That is a very emotional movie!


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