I don’t know if it’s because I’m an INFJ, or perhaps I’m just empathetic, or both, or I become too wrapped up in my stories, but my emotional connection to my characters can become intense.
I’m saying all this at the risk of sounding like I’m crazy, and hopefully by stating the risk I sound a little less insane.
So, how intense is intense?
I’ve heard of others who’ve cried over scenes and I’m no different. I’ve wept, barely able to see the screen while writing highly emotional moments. Not just sad parts, but deeply moving parts whether they be happy or sad. Yes, happy endings make me cry and happy moments in my own stories are no different.
Thing is, I take it farther than that. I dwell on my characters when they’re in trouble even when I know how it’ll turn out, and especially when they have worries or are carrying heavy burdens. If they’re confused I find myself wanting to sit down with them and talk (that’s sooo INFJ).
Even that doesn’t begin to describe what I do.
I tend to cling to the emotions of characters, especially my main characters, and carry them around with me. If I work on a story in the morning and the scene was sad I carry the weight of that all day. Whatever the emotion, it lingers.
The big problem with all this is the toll it takes on me over the course of a draft or edit. Each time I finish I’m emotionally drained. Forget about aching arms or wrists, or the lack of sleep, or putting in long hours at the computer, at the end I’m numb and wrung out.
Yet, I do it again and again. I pour everything into the story. Unfortunately, it doesn’t all get there and I have to keep trying, which is a common enough problem. Partly, too, it’s what I write. I might write other world fantasy, but there’s a lot of stress on romance and relationships and, basically, the human element.
Plot driven and character focused is the correct term for it. I wouldn’t have it any other way and none of this is a complaint. If I didn’t find satisfaction in what I do I wouldn’t be sobbing—and still typing.