On Writing: Emotions Like Water

Trying to write a good story is sort of like painting underwater.

Seriously, this is a thing. There are artistic scuba divers who don’t like the idea of artificially illuminating coral to get surface-air colors into an environment where the red end of the visible spectrum fades out fast. So some people take specially formulated paint and easels and go down into the water with the coral, painting it as they see it in the water below. The idea being that when they bring the painting back to the surface, what looked muted below blazes into all the glorious true-to-life color it would have if someone had brought light into the depths.

Writing, especially when you’re trying to pull off emotional impact, can feel a lot like that. Everything’s awkward, slow, and clumsy. You’re immersed in the setting, story, and characters in your head. You can’t see what it looks like from the outside; you’re in too deep. Everything is muted. Blued. All you can do is write, and revise, and run it past beta-readers, and revise again….

And then you cross your fingers and publish it, and see what it looks like to outside eyes. Hopefully, it blazes bright.


13 thoughts on “On Writing: Emotions Like Water

  1. Would your source for info on underwater painting be available in the public library of a mid-sized city? I have limited storage space for new books.


    1. *reads*

      Good grief, and THIS is the kind of ridiculous stereotype which Too Many people adopt as their example of True Love?
      Sometimes I wonder why I don’t go near actual potential-romantic-relationships. And then I read something like t h a t. So now I don’t. Ick…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is what happens when you have incredibly repressed people whose only idea of how romantic relationships actually work comes from places like anime, Twilight, or harlequin novels decide to write smut. There’s a surprisingly big chunk of people who literally don’t know better.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. 99% of fanfiction is mediocre crap, 0.9% is incredibly terrifying crap, and the all too rare 0.1% is why we keep reading it in the first place!

        (Saying this as someone who used to write (mediocre crap) fanfiction as a teenager – thankfully I more leaned towards ‘attempts to make awesome stuff happen’ than ‘awkward fantasies’, with the reasoning that ‘You know, nobody sane really wants to see that anyways’.)

        Liked by 1 person

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