Writing with T & A: Drama Belongs on the Page

Posted: February 8, 2016 in Uncategorized, writing
Tags: , , , , ,

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Writing is a calling. It’s something we feel compelled to do whether or not we make money, whether or not anyone reads our work, and whether or not we win any awards. As much as it is a calling, however, writing is also a job, a profession that requires unwavering determination, unshakable dedication, and lots and lots of time. There is no time to waste.

There is an endless array of time-wasters out there, things that distract you from writing such as playing on Facebook and watching television or YouTube videos, but there’s one distraction that we feel needs more consideration: Drama. Drama is perhaps the biggest time-waster of all. Whether yours or someone else’s, drama is writing’s worst enemy – it is the rain on your creative parade.

Clive Barker said, “Be regular and ordinary in your life that you may be violent and original in your work.” We live by this philosophy, and add to it our mantra, “drama belongs on the page.” We simply don’t have time to engage in histrionics.

We all know those people who seem to feel alive only when the stress is high and the chaos is rampant. These people stoke the coals of tension and tragedy everywhere they go, creating it themselves when there’s none to be had, and usually attributing their chronic crises to unavoidable circumstances inflicted upon them by outside forces.

These people claim that drama is unavoidable, but we disagree. We’ve both fallen victim to drama-mongers in the past, and when we met, our mutual aversion to soap opera lifestyles was one of the first things that bonded us. We shared the priority of living and working in a calm and peaceful environment, and neither of us was willing to compromise on that. We both know firsthand that while some discord is certainly a part of life, the vast majority of it is caused unnecessarily and is absolutely avoidable. We’ve learned that our lives ebb and flow according to what we choose to give our attention to, whom we choose to associate with, and where we choose to focus our intent. We prefer to focus ours on our work.

We get plenty of drama from our writing. On the page, we can gossip, create conflict, begin and end scandalous love affairs, and even wage our very own wars, wreaking havoc upon the general populace if that’s what we want to do – but we keep it on the page. We’ve both gone to great lengths to extract the drama – and all of its sources – from our lives. Fiction is an escape from the real world and all its petty horrors. It’s a place where writers can create far more tantalizing theatrics than you’ll find in social media or on the street. A drama-monger’s cry for attention is far less interesting than the chaos an effective writer can create on the page. This is probably why you don’t see many real professionals whining on Facebook: they’re pouring their emotions into something that matters – their work.

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We have a no-drama policy and it serves us well. For one thing, we haven’t fought with each other once in the three years we’ve been working together, and don’t expect to start. We compromise and respect each other. And we listen. For another, we’ve managed to complete three to four novels per year, seen them to publication, and been able to spend our free time plotting the next novel, marketing the new releases, and having fun rather than engaging in agitation and discontent. On top of writing, we’ve been able to host our own horror-themed radio show, Haunted Nights LIVE!, where we talk to other authors of dark fiction and learn what their methods are. Since laying down the no-drama law, we’ve been able to enjoy our lives, our work, and be far more productive.

There’s another aspect of abiding by the no-drama policy that’s important to professional writers: airing your dirty laundry on social media is unprofessional. It simply makes you a spectacle rather than a writer. Most of us enjoy checking out drama kings and queens occasionally. We ourselves are guilty of going over to Facebook and having a chuckle over old Connie Drama-Monger’s latest woes, but we don’t get involved. We steer clear of these folks, lest they try to draw us into their self-absorbed little soap operas. No thank you.

There’s only so much time in this life, and we work very hard to spend ours in ways that help us write and grow, and pay the bills. When we aren’t working, we believe in spending our down time relaxing to the max, enjoying ourselves, and not getting caught up in chaos. Life throws all of us bad things, but we prefer to concentrate on the good stuff, whether it’s hanging out with our cats, our friends, or each other.

Drama, as we said, belongs on the page.  

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Comments
  1. Reblogged this on Tamara Thorne's Little Blog of Horrors and commented:
    Drama mongers vs. writers. Who wins?

    Like

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