“The witching hour, somebody had once whispered to her, was a special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up was in a deep deep sleep, and all the dark things came out from hiding and had the world all to themselves.”
― Roald Dahl, The BFG
Writing fictional romance, for me, is a Catch 22. Without it, I wither, but too much of it and I lose myself, my true self, the self of my waking world, aka, reality. It’s an odd occurrence to dissolve into a character’s mind or two or three, to lose oneself within their story. Coming up for air is hard. It can almost feel like the life of a madman. It can be quite upsetting when a story you spent a great deal of time being a part of comes to an end. And it is emotionally taxing to go into that world of writing and to feel it so viscerally that to come out is sometimes a daunting and difficult task. The story must end at some point. It can’t go on for eternity. And getting your bearings back is a tough task.
True, you can go back and read your stories, over and over again. I do that with my favorite books all the time. As a teacher, I am often forced to read the same novel or play, again and again as I teach it, and the great ones never really get old. I get savvier about the themes. I understand the characters and their motivations more. Symbols or imagery that I may not have noticed now become visible. Rereading a text one loves is peaceful. A slice of heaven. So why is writing a story you love so different?
It just is. There is something to be said about closure when writing. When it’s over, you take that breath, and say those famous two words: "The End." The story is complete. The denouement has most likely been written. And though sometimes you and your readers might imagine what the future looks like for the characters after the last page, it is still time to move on. Their story has been told. It is time to start fresh. To start a new story. A new chapter, filled with new characters and struggles and triumphs. It is time to say goodbye to the past.
It is very much like relationships. They don’t all last forever, and the ones that matter or mattered hurt tremendously when they’re over. But when it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on. Period. It’s hard as hell, and it’s even harder when closure doesn’t quite exist. Without closure, it’s almost impossible to move on. And if a person repeatedly opens and closes doors, it can become a vicious cycle of pain and heartache.
But we have choices. We don’t have to open the doors again to the same repeated offenders. It doesn’t matter if the breeze they let in is refreshing or exciting or invigorating. It will only leave you chilled when they walk out it again. You know this. You’ve let them do it too often. You can only accept the word sorry so many times. You don’t owe them second and third chances. Their patterns have been established. You know who they are.
And so, while I envy Roald Dahl and his writing routine, I don’t have what it takes to dedicate my every day to it. Perhaps that is why I will never be great. Perhaps I am far too emotional of a person. I feel too much. To live a life of perpetual starts and stops, relationships beginning and ending far too frequently, is exhausting, even as I scream to myself, “It’s only fantasy! This is fiction.” When submerged like that, it doesn’t feel that way, and truth be told, it almost always isn’t. I get too lost. I get too caught up. My subconscious comes through. And becoming that invested and then having to say goodbye like that...I’ll never get comfortable with it. Yes. It can be cathartic. It can also just be draining. Aren’t the starts and stops of our real-life relationships enough?
I am thankful for small epiphanies that light my path and show me my limits. Every day is another learning curve in my journey of self-discovery. And I get a little stronger every day. I have my own special “witching hour” where I let the darkness shine, and that window is enough for me…for now.
I LOVE to write and read. I particularly enjoy reading erotic romance that has tons of emotion in it. I hope you will ask me questions and share your favorite authors and novels. I welcome all feedback.