READER FRIDAY: Tell Us About Your Most Difficult Scene

Tell us about the hardest scene you’ve ever had to write. What made it difficult? How did you get through the challenge of it?

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About Jordan Dane

Bestselling, critically-acclaimed author Jordan Dane’s gritty thrillers are ripped from the headlines with vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense novels to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag, naming her debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM as Best Books of 2008. She also pens young-adult novels for Harlequin Teen. Formerly an energy sales manager, she now writes full time. Jordan shares her Texas residence with two lucky rescue dogs.

6 thoughts on “READER FRIDAY: Tell Us About Your Most Difficult Scene

  1. Before I sold, I took a 45-hour Citizen Police Academy course over a series of weeks & one night the police played a video recording of a horrifying traffic stop by a State Trooper who had been gunned down. The video did not show the graphic death, since that was off camera, but I will never forget the audio of him dying. I cried all the way home as I drove & went straight to finishing an emotional scene that I’d been working on where an Hispanic homicide detective was gunned down on his front lawn as his terrified wife watched from an upstairs bedroom window.

    I couldn’t imagine what the poor wife felt or the shock of the detective at being assaulted at his own home (helpless & knowing his family was in danger), but after I finished, I took a break to do laundry & distance myself from the impact. I found myself talking to my cats, calling them “cosas finas,” a Spanish term meaning ” fine things.”

    I hadn’t used that term EVER, but it felt very familiar to me. After speaking to my Hispanic father, he reminded me that my deceased grandfather used to call his grandkids “cosas finas” as a term of endearment. I got goose bumps when I realized my grandfather, the only other writer in my family, had been with me as I wrote that scene.

    After that memorable moment, and after I sold, I created my corporation COSAS FINAS in honor of my grandfather. He was with me that day & helped me write that tough scene. I wasn’t alone.

    • I have goosebumps, Jordan. What a beautiful story.

      I didn’t answer this question earlier, because I can’t pinpoint one scene. Writing CLEAVED left me emotionally spent for weeks, months, I don’t even know how long. Without psychoanalyzing myself, maybe it’s because I relate to Sage on such a deep level. When she hurts, I hurt. In writing Book 3, I’m now an emotional wreck again. Logically, it’s crazy! But it is what it is. There’s something about that series that affects me.

  2. I wrote a scene about a Kiowa men who watched his wife and children die from wounds because he himself was wounded and could not protect them. It took mounds of research to trace the timeline of someone who is dying from gunshot wounds and burns.

    Get through it? I didn’t get through it. It’s still with me, and I wrote that scene 40 years ago.

  3. Emotionally, a deathbed scene because my dad had died less than a year earlier from cancer. I wept through the writing as I channeled my own grief into the main character. Over thirty years later, I still can’t read that scene without my throat closing up from emotion.

    Technically, it was a series of scenes from the viewpoint of a secondary character whose true identity I was hiding from the reader. I wanted to hide the identity without the reader realizing I wasn’t telling them everything, but I didn’t want to lie to them, either. Very tricky. I ended up using a cold to warm viewpoint, and straightforward recitation of events rather than delving too deep into memory.

  4. The hardest scene I have ever written (so far) was not a death scene, but the aftermath of that death, the funeral. I had to remember the first funeral I ever attended, which was my paternal grandfather’s, when I was in college. A week before he died, he was dancing at a grandson’s wedding (my cousin). He had a heart attack three days later, was hospitalized and four days later had the last one. At the funeral I had to struggle with my disbelief that he was dead, and my guilt that I had not taken the time to go see him in the hospital, even though it was only across town. Although the circumstances of my character’s death were very different, I still had to channel that 30-year-old grief to write the scene from the perspective of the deceased’s lover.

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