They say that a certain amount of pain is supposed to help clarify your thoughts. Nope! I disagree completely. After spending 3 hours in the ER last night with great amounts of pain due to a kidney stone half the size of a dime, the only thing clear to me was how much I hurt. I’m not going to lie, that was awful.
Whining aside, a lot of what I write comes from what I live. Which brings me to another pleasant topic: vomiting. Throwing up has always been top of my list in things to avoid (it’s now #2 after kidney stones), which is why you’ll find it prevalent in my first fantasy novel Angst. A good friend of mine who critiqued the first book felt there was a little too much throwing up for her taste.
While she was the only one to point that out, I can understand. It’s pretty gross and one of those experiences I think that everyone can relate to. With my experiences broadened, I can now raise the bar. There is now a new threshold of pain and torture for Angst 2 which will include plenty of turning pale, sweating, writhing in pain (picture Captain Kirk rolling around on the ground any time a villain used one of the infamous belt weapons), and my new favorite, a small tear in the corner of the eye.
Fantasy books are about imagination, but a certain amount of realism adds to the danger. Stories are always more compelling when it feels like there is a genuine threat to succeeding, a cost to the characters’ actions. It doesn’t always have to be a death. Terrible odds with great risks and a bit of pain makes a successful outcome more rewarding.
I’m happy that I can turn my situation into a resource for better book writing. If facing the pain of this stone helps me to better express the pain my characters are facing, I can at least be glad that something good comes from this.
Now what am I going to do when I have to write about the dragons!?