Note: I started writing this yesterday.
As I’ve been saying, in one way or another, life experience informs your writing.
I had an example of this today, and it might not be enjoyable for those of you with weak stomachs. No, I didn’t have an intestinal bug. Not that bad, really!
I’ve had a benign polyp on the back of my right knee for a really long time. Not too long ago, I decided it was time to bid it adieu, and today was my surgery to have it removed. I’ve had surgery before, been sewn shut on a few occasions—even been completely knocked out under anesthesia—so I went into today’s experience very calmly.
That being said, I still got a surprise. I guess my brain was in data collection mode, because it wasn’t busy being freaked out. I feel as though I really experienced what was going on behind my back, minus the pain of cutting and whatnot. I could hear EVERYTHING, from the poke of the needles into my skin, the snipping of the scissors as the doctor cut this dangly bit free, and the buzzy noise of the electro-cautery wand.
It was amazing. Really.
The physical sensations were more defined than I’ve ever experienced in this context before. When my little “extra bit” was out and bottled up, I felt her pulling my skin back together so she could suture the wound closed. Let me tell you, she PULLED!
It is six hours after my surgery, and everything is so fresh in my mind. I have to write this down, because I might need it later.
Imagine, as a writer, being able to describe an insistent, powerful pull on human skin. Read on…
My leg was flat to the table, but my body wanted to follow the force being applied. Mere flesh couldn’t resist being drawn, when muscles and bones would have followed. The doctor didn’t coax my skin into closing; she demanded it, required compliance, and would not accept anything less than the submission of my body to her work. She didn’t let me be until the hole she’d made was sewn shut in a perfectly straight line, black lines standing out against the pale underside of my knee.
…Now, did you feel that pull, or did you remember an inexorable dragging from somewhere in your life?
My advice is this: be very present in your experiences of events that might be pertinent to your work. If you write smutty fun things, really BE there when you and your partner are making love…and I bet your descriptions will be more visceral and engaging than “Fifty Shades of…”
Ahem. Now, get out there and feel things!