Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone

With the exceptions of Enza, and my book about my car accident, I basically write romance novels. I can’t help it. I like the whole happily-ever-after thing. Maybe because real life so not like a love story. Real life is something you can’t escape from. Nope. Bills, budgets, bad hair days, moody kids. And the news. If I want a dose of real life, all I have to do is turn the television on at six o’clock, or pick up a newspaper…and I can have all the reality I can handle.

Enza, a book about the 1918 influenza pandemic, had to be written. I didn’t have any choice in the matter. That might not make sense to someone who isn’t a writer, but that’s just the way it works out sometimes. A subject grabs hold of you, and youย must tell the story. I have two more that I want to do someday soon, one about alcoholism, and the other about Alzheimer’s (which will be a goodbye to my grandfather).

But mostly it’s romance for me.

I had to kill someone in my first book…and nearly quit writing when it came right down to it. I liked the character who had to die enough that I didn’t think I could continue. Except there was no other optionย  so… I killed my first character. My next killing came in the second book, but I didn’t like him at all, so it was easy. But I actually had to throw all the names in a hat for Enza, and draw them, because I couldn’t choose who would live and die. Plus I wanted to make it more real, the same as it was during that horrible time in history.

So guns and death aren’t something I’m completely unfamiliar with in my world. But I have to write a scene in my fairytale that involves lots of guns, lots of bad guys, some injuries, and a few deaths. All in a sneaky Navy Seal kind of way.

And I’m SO out of my element that it’s ridiculous.

I’m nearly at the end of the chapter where it all begins. Two scenes away. And I’m dreading it. My natural inclination, when I don’t know what I’m doing, is to rush through something. Can’t really do that when you’re writing. You have to take the time to go into detail, let the tension build, show the fear.

I’ve been trying to figure out a movie (s) that would have those kinds of details, so I can take notes on how it’s done. So far, though, I’ve only found a brief scene in Red. I’m thinking Die Hard 2 might have some stuff I can learn from as well.

What I need is something not too violent (doesn’t take much to give me nightmares). I can’t really get into Chuck Norris movies, but other than that, I’m open to most suggestions. Can anyone recommend some good movies that would deal with armed men sneaking into an area…with the intention of doing lots of harm?

I really need to educate myself here…before I write the scene. So I’ll thank you in advance…and share another favorite romantic song. While my main characters have both known love in the past, they’ve experienced tragedies, too, and this is kind of the way the feel about one another.

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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. It has been a long time since I’ve seen the movie but maybe G.I Jane could work. I know you see alot of the training she had to go through for the movie. Also check out a few episodes of J.A.G I know they did some special ops in a lot of their episodes and the violence is gonna kept to a minimum because it was a prime time tv show.

    1. Oh I LOVED J.A.G.! One of my favorite series, and I was bummed when it went off the air.

      I think I’ve actually figured out how to get through that scene, and may have the first draft ready to send to you tomorrow. Yay! That means maybe one more chapter…and possibly an epilogue.

      And then it’s time to edit. Sigh… ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. RWA has a great group to help with this sort of thing. I can look it up for you if your interested. A lot of movies are unrealistic. But I still love to watch them when I’m looking for inspiration. Guns have to work true to nature or you might hear from readers. Other moves, if your fairytale characters aren’t fully human, you can fudge it. I’ll put my thinking cap on. Feel free to message me. Sorry I’ve been more quiet lately.

    1. I didn’t even catch the ‘your.’

      I’ve pretty much decided to just do the fear angle in the story, and no real details about the weapons. I had a couple of good ideas for changes that should make it work out well.

      Don’t worry about being quiet. I’m there, too…but more because I’ve fallen into a funk or something. Not quite burned out, but having to back off. Not sure I’ll ever figure out the whole writing/blogging/social networking conundrum. All I know is that if I want to be productive with the writing, I need to back off social media. ๐Ÿ™

      1. Yeah, itโ€™s not an easy balance. But I was referring more to our messages.

        1. Oh I won’t back off that. Just FB in general, Twitter. If I leave FB open it’s like something in my brain shuts down as far as getting any writing done. And someone reminded me that NaNo starts in a week. I may or may not join in this year. Not sure I’m disciplined enough, but it might help get me in gear. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hmm… Maybe The Rock? It’s a cool movie.

    When I write violent scenes out of my comfort zone, I use substitution. I’m killing hate/cruelty/cruel acts, for example, instead of a person. Not sure if that helps any, but figured I’d share. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck!

    1. Thanks! That’s a cool way to look at it, August. It does help, at least for future projects. With this scene though, what I need to get right is what it sounds like, and to get the fear they’re feeling as close to real as I can. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Funny you rush ahead and I stop. I have like your way better than of course

    1. Sometimes I hope that by rushing ahead and just getting SOMETHING down, I can always fix it during the rewrites. In cases like this, though, I want to rush to just get it over with. And sometimes I just stop, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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