Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Moral Dilemma

My day is off to a good start, I had a dilemma in not being able to figure out for the life of me how to spell dilemma. I need coffeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Ok, here is my dilemma: My main character is going to be a young girl with an eating disorder. I was trying to decide if she was flirting with behaviors, or if she really HAD one or not. The more I work on her character, and family dynamics ...etc... the more I know; she has a full blown eating disorder.

The question is ... how much of the eating disordered behavior do I let slip into the book? Ya know, IF it goes to publishing, I don't want to give anyone any idea's (which is ...quite frankly how I started purging) but I also want to make it clear the extent of her eating disorder?

Should I put it in during NaNo while going for the 50,000 and as part of developing the story ... and then edit out what is extreme and likely to trigger those with a disorder? Or do I just leave the behaviors beyond the least obvious ones (playing with food on the plate, etc) in the character development stuff that never makes it to the novel?

1 comment:

#1 Dinosaur said...

The answer to your dilemma is the same as every other writing question: You do what the story needs.

If the story needs you to write out every little detail of each and every retch, that she uses her third finger to stuff down her throat because it's the longest, then that's what you write. NEVER start self-editing "for publication." That's what agents and editors are for, and you're light years away from that. Not saying you won't get there someday, but not now.

Especially for NaNo, where word count is everything. A 500 word description of vomiting can be pasted in every time she does it, to pad that word count. After it's all over there's plenty of time to edit, re-write and tweak to your heart's content.

The real prize is that you have a draft to work with. Remember with NaNo, it's quantity and not quality that counts. It's ok if it sucks; hell, it's supposed to suck.