Make It All Better, Please


Since last week’s I AM WRITING, GOSH DARN IT post, I have been . . . writing! Yay!

Not to mention doing the other things I do, such as taking care of my son, my husband, the house, my addiction to Scramble, the odd financial detail and therapy. What–you thought my neuroses were organic? Heck, no, they’re carefully cultivated!

Anyway, in therapy, we’ve been discussing low frustration tolerance, the tendency for someone to seek “immediate pleasure or avoidance of pain at the cost of long-term stress and defeatism.” Apparently, I have it, because I try to fix things as soon as they are uncomfortable for me.

While I try to sit with the uncomfortable feelings for longer than I have been able to in the past, I’ve also been thinking about LFT in terms of my writing; specifically, my need to make everything better for my characters. Which, oddly enough, results in pretty boring plots. I mean, who wants to hear about someone who has a hiccup in their life that’s solved easily in the next chapter?

My answer to that would be: “No one.”

So while I’m adjusting my LFT in real life, I’m also examining my plot to make sure I sustain uncomfortable moments for longer so the resolution is ultimately more satisfying. To that end, in my current WIP, I am going to kill off a beloved character (well, beloved by me, at least) because it serves the story better, even though it makes me sad.

How’s your FT? What books have you read where the uncomfortable feeling has been well-sustained? At what point in the books you read or write do you like to resolve things?

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