Welcome back to the Gym of the Writer’s Brain. Are you ready for another workout? GOOD! This one is a doozy, you may need a little time to research for this one. Let me begin by suggesting you get a hold of The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma. or go to One Stop for Writers and check it out. Most of our characters have some kind of emotional trauma and that is what helps us understand them and even feel sympathy for them. For instance, one of my favorite fictional characters Eve Dallas from J.D. Robb’s In Death series has a pretty severe emotional wound that she uses to fuel her fight for justice. It haunts her but also pushes her to always give 110% to each case no matter how “unworthy” the rest of the world may see the victims. In this workout, take some time dig into a CHILDHOOD wound, and then write a conversation that the child may have missed that may explain the reason this emotional wound is not valid. The other option is to write a scene that validates the emotional wound. Your choice.
NOTE: I do not get anything for recommending The Emotional Wound Thesaurus or One Stop for Writers. They are simply some of the best tools I have found for actually writing.
See my example below:
Writer’s Brain Workout : Emotional Wound
Childhood Wound: Having Parents Who Appear to Favor One Child Over Another
My character suffers from the false belief that they will never be as good as her sibling and that everything in life is a competition. The conversation below is between her parents when she was a child that had she heard may have changed her response to what she sees as favoritism of her sister, Junie.
“Mary has already been scouted, stop worrying. Junie is not as good as her sister. ” Frank whispered to his wife.
“We can’t ever let Junie know. She already struggles to do everything her big sister does.”
“Mary is a good example for her to follow, look at her, she’s scored the only two goals in this game.”
“Yes, Frank I know, but Junie needs more encouragement I think.”
Frank shook his head when Junie and Mary ran off the field. “Great work Junie, you really did a great job defending the goal.”
“Oh, Junie Bee, you will be a professional soccer player someday.”
Mary stood watching her parents gush over Junie as they always did. She wanted to scream, “Don’t you see me? I am the one that scored the two goals.”
Almost as if he heard her, Frank turned to Mary, “You did good work in there too Mary.” she looked to her mother still gushing over Junie’s lucky block. She flashed a thin smile back at her father as he turned his attention back to her little sister.