March Round Robin: Scene and Character

This month’s topic: Are you ever emotionally drained when writing a scene and are your characters real to you?

The short answers are yes and yes. 
But why? 
I must admit that being emotionally drained for me usually only occurs when I’ve written an emotionally intense scene between the characters. A denouement or a love scene, something which has made the characters, specifically the hero and heroine, learn deep truths about each other, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Something has changed and it has sent their relationship in a different direction and we’re all going to have to get used to it and go along for the ride. 
With such an intense connection then, it’s reasonable that the characters are real to me. Specifically, the ones in my six book series, Bone Cold—Alive, are. I’ve grown to know them, warts and all. And just like our real relationships, I don’t always like them nor can I always control them. Authors say a character takes over a scene or chapter—and she does! Of course, in romance, although the character may seem on the surface to have few redeemable characteristics, they are, of course, redeemable to the max. Therefore, by the end of the book, by the time they’ve had their ups and downs, they’ve earned their happy endings.
I’m not the only one exploring this issue for the March Round Robin. Please visit the other participants listed below:

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8 Comments on "March Round Robin: Scene and Character"

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Marci Baun

For me, I manage, when I write consistently, about a scene a day. This is approximately 1000-2000 words. At the end of the scene, I’m done. The characters stop talking and tell me to go do something else. Perhaps if I were to push through that, they’d become more cooperative.

Like you, though, I’m not really emotionally drained unless it’s a very intense scene.

Skye Taylor

Getting to know our characters is like getting to know the new family next door and the better you know them, the more involved you get. I agree that those scenes in a romance where the budding love story is suddenly threatened is an emotionally draining moment, both for the characters and the author. But that’s what makes the reader care!

Victoria Chatham

Those intense scenes, wherever they come in the book, are the ones that rip us up.

Connie Vines

As a reader those intense scenes are the one we always remember. As a writer, I think, oh no–I’m going to be an emotional mess ;-) until I finish the final draft of this scene.

Bob Rich

I do get my buttons pushed by the romantic assumption that the good woman can change that bad guy. It does lead to much heartache in real life!


My emotions go into play more in reading than writing, and always love the different scenarios in which romance scenes take place.

Rachael Kosinski

I liked the bit about characters “earning” happy endings. A couple times I’ve chastised myself for wrapping things up nicely at the ends of my books, but heck, my characters deserve it for what they go through. :)

Beverley Bateman

Good post and I loved the comment about the character may seem on the surface to have few redeemable characteristics, they are, of course, redeemable to the max. That’s romance.