I’ve talked before about how inserting vulnerability into my writing is a difficult thing. This came up twice for me yesterday and caused me to reflect on how society looks down on the emotion.
The first instance was during my Thursday morning coffee with some of my friends from MVRWA. The question came up as to how we feel when someone close to us reads some of the spicier scenes in our writing. As I expressed then, it isn’t the mechanics that bothers me at all, but the emotions and that peak inside my psyche that can be intimidating. i don’t like the idea of being laid out open and vulnerable to those I am especially close to. The words were no sooner out of my mouth when I realized the irony. Shouldn’t we be able to show our vulnerabilities to those we hold closest? Shouldn’t those loved ones be the one who get to peek in all the dark, shadowy corners?
That is usually what my heroes or heroines have to come to terms with when I’m getting two people together. They have to allow the other inside.
The second was in my daily work on the current work-in-progress. I have a rough and tumble hero, with a military-ish background who is caught tenderly cradling a baby by the heroine. She later compliments his sweet, tender, and vulnerable side. As I was writing the scene, the hero (in my head) just went off. He, by no means, liked the idea of the heroine calling him vulnerable, and his negative response to the compliment just spilled out into a very tense scene.
Part of this characters inner journey is going to be learning that being open to and caring about others may create a vulnerability, but what it doesn’t create is a weakness. Something I think I’ve yet to learn, in light of the realization that I, like my hero, want to bury those vulnerabilities very deep.