Writing After Divorce . . . The Lion/Elephant Hybrid in My Mental Room

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My plan was to start hyping War of Nytefall: Eradication since it is going to be coming out soon.  This is the 4th book of Clyde and the Dawn Fangs’ adventures.  It’s also been 10 months since I published War of Nytefall: Rivalry.  That means I’m a little rusty, people might not remember the series, and other issues with getting back into the game to some extent.  So, I need to carefully choose the first topic here.

That or I can hit the topic that keeps finding itself on my list.  It’s something that I think I need to bring into the open.  Might sound like a preemptive excuse, whining, ranting, or something negative.  Yet, I can’t shake the feeling that I need to bring it up, which I obviously did in the title.  Here we go:

War of Nytefall: Eradication is the first book I wrote since my divorce started, which means it took longer to finish.  There were long periods between sections because of work and just not feeling it.  Quite a few reasons for this such as my ex-wife messaging me the morning I was going to write and that ruining my mood.  Dealing with heartache makes it very difficult to write anything with a positive message until you wrestle control of the emotion.  Letting it run wild resulted in a few bad scenes that I rewrote and I hope I did the rest of the book justice.  My confidence was shot so badly that I couldn’t trust my own judgement, which made editing a trick and a half.  In another life, I had someone I could bounce ideas off of every day, but now I only have shadow puppets unless I can snag a friend by text.  This all meant my usual process was no longer an option.

I should hit the big one too.  For those who remember, Nyx was the DnD character that my ex-wife played.  Well, Mab was her Vampire: The Masquerade character.  She played Nadia Sylvan and a character who turns up in volume 5 too.  Yet, it was incredibly hard to write Mab because she enters a relationship with Clyde, who was me.  These were the only character played by my ex-wife and I who became a couple.  Now, I have to continue writing them as such while my heart does that weird sensation of feeling like it’s leaking blood into my chest cavity.  It’s not really doing it, but that’s the only way I can explain what I feel.  Now, many have told me to kill her off, but a few problems:

  1. Mab is an integral part of the overall series.
  2. Mab is what is helping Clyde retain his control and humanity, so he would go down with her.  To do otherwise would feel out of character and betray all of the development of the previous books.
  3. Mab appears in Legends of Windemere: The Mercenary Prince, so we all know she survives.  Oops.  That doesn’t mean I can’t put her through hell.  At least in a way that isn’t too cruel and could explain why she’s so cold when she is interacting with Delvin Cunningham.

All of that brings up the question of ‘How do I write through the pain?’

I take a lot of breaks, which could be television, puzzles, or just crying if I wrote a scene that tore up a few emotional sutures.  One of the things I swore is that I wouldn’t take my emotions out on my characters to the point where I ruin the story.  This is especially true with the ex-wife inspired characters who I see as having evolved beyond her and become their own entities.  I mean, they don’t act, look, or think anything like her, so I should be able to make a big division in my mind.  That and I feel like it would be a victory for her if I self-destructed all of my ideas to the point where they’re unusable.  So, there is a little bit of stubborn pride at work here.

There is the belief that one can use the pain to enhance their writing, which is very true.  I would love to do that, but there’s nothing in War of Nytefall that allows me to utilize this type of pain.  To do so, I’d have to shoehorn in a storyline specifically for the expulsion of these emotions.  That’s not going to fix anything, especially when I reach the editing stage and hate myself even more.  So, I’ve had to do a lot of compartmentalizing and finding time to relax.  Sadly, I haven’t been that successful with part two of that, which I hope to improve this year.

Maybe this isn’t the best way to begin a hype period of two months.  I can see why, but I still felt like I had to throw it out there.  With this book being the first one I wrote during my ‘new life’, I fear that it will be different and I would need to explain where I was at in the first place.  Funny thing is that I still enjoyed the editing part and the story, so a rewrite wouldn’t have done much.  Well, fingers crossed when the time comes.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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19 Responses to Writing After Divorce . . . The Lion/Elephant Hybrid in My Mental Room

  1. L. Marie says:

    “How do I write through the pain?”–Great question. It’s hard, isn’t it? After a breakup, I couldn’t write much of anything except sad poems and pages in journals. But I’ve read of other creative individuals who had to produce books or movies during a painful time in their lives. So hard!

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    • It’s a big challenge since you need to access various emotions for characters. If you’re stuck in one mode then it can infect the story. I think I’m still working through it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • L. Marie says:

        I can’t help thinking of a post about Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Tonally it is considered the darkest of what was then three movies. The following is from https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/indiana-jones/29040/revisiting-indiana-jones-and-the-temple-of-doom

        What’s also come to light since though is the circumstances facing the main three players in the Temple Of Doom production. Both Lucas and Spielberg have expressed regret as to how dark they allowed Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom to go, but then both were in dark places themselves. Lucas was going through a divorce at the time the film was being put together, and Spielberg himself had seen a long term relationship of his own fall apart (interestingly Lucas, Ford and Spielberg had become fathers not long before embarking on Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade).

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      • It is interesting how that trilogy has been influenced by their personal lives. Then again, I can think of many works that do such things. Evangelion was born from the creator’s battle with mental illness and I believe the death of his mother. Edgar Allan Poe is basically a case study on the topic.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue Vincent says:

    I don’t think the specific emotion you are feeling necessarily spills on to the page… but a deeper well of emotion can be tapped, and for a writer, that can be a good thing.

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  3. I think you have to bet your talent will prevail. Fingers crossed may help as well. Your turmoil may produce something positive. Who knows?

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  4. V.M.Sang says:

    You are going through a tough time, Charles. You are managing to continue with your blog, and this may be cathartic for you. I wouldn’t worry about your other writing just yet. Get yourself in a better place, then begin in earnest. Your readers will wait for you. (I’ve been waiting for years for George R.R.Martin to finish the Song of Ice and Fire books. I didn’t watch the GoT series.)
    Then, when you begin writing again, you can tap into the experience and make your writing more emotional.

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    • That’s the problem with indie author life. Once you start, you can’t really take a break without crippling your progress. It isn’t like traditionally published authors where they can rest up a little. As I mentioned in another comment, I announced a semi-retirement/slow down in 2018 due to personal reasons. I says I’d come back and stay on the blog until I return. This resulted in such a massive drop of sales and blog traffic that the one book I released with promotions in 2019 bombed horribly. Another issue that many of my readers never jumped to my new series too. So, I really don’t see any evidence that most indie author readers will wait for an author to recover from a personal issue. You maintain a small core, but that’s really it.

      As far as making my writing more emotional, I never had a problem there. Now, I struggle to bring out the happier side of things. Especially in couple scenes. It’s actually hampered me.

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  5. I know what you mean, Charles. When my son was 13 his anger totally overwhelmed our household. It was all I could do to keep writing, but I swore he wouldn’t take my art from me. I did manage to finish two 30K YA novels, but his anger bled through so completely that I doubt I can ever get them into print. (Also, I need to get serious with a third book to make it work.)

    So don’t give up on your art, either.

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