Lindsey R. Loucks

Author of Romance and Other Scary Things

Why I Write, Part II: Real Life Sucks

There are times in life when I’m reminded why I like to live inside the world I create on paper. Last week was one of those times. A young woman died of cancer, and while I didn’t know this woman, I know her family. The entire community felt the crush of this family’s grief. All we could do was weep with them and wonder hopelessly how we could help ease their pain.

This is why I need to escape from reality and be in control of something. In real life, I’m not in control. Not really, anyway. Too many things can happen. Death can happen.

While writing The Grave Winner, I tried to imagine what it would be like to lose my mom since my main character had just lost hers. I didn’t want to face that kind of reality, and after awhile I didn’t have to since my MC took over for me. But at the beginning when I was trying to find my MC’s voice, I wrote what I imagined it would feel like. And it broke my heart.

I kept repeating, “This isn’t real. This isn’t real” with tears streaming down my cheeks. Thank goodness it wasn’t real. But I was in control of my fictional world. The MC’s mom’s death happened because I willed it to happen.

Real life doesn’t work like that, which is why real life sucks. And so does cancer.

P.S. Sorry for the downer post. Next week, I’ll puke up rainbows like this guy:



  1. I must concur. Having really lost my mom (which sucks–understatement), it’s definitely a life-changing experience. I think you portrayed Leigh’s despair very well.

  2. There’s a couple of scenes in my novel that still bring tears to my eyes when I read them, because they evoke very real memories from real life.

    It’s good to be in control, but great power brings great responsibility…and I know I’m not nearly as nasty to my characters as my critters expect me to be!

  3. I think that’s when we know we’re on the right track with our writing. If a scene is emotionally hard to get through, then it’s going to have a good impact on readers.

  4. Mysti – Very true. Chances are that if I’m scared/sad during a scene, the reader will be too.

    Bot – It is a huge responsibility to have that much power!

  5. Sorry to hear about the girl’s loss… that would be hard on any family.

    Drawing on that in your book, will make your character come across even more realistic to the reader… probably even making them cry.

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