Describing grief — very hard

Grief is very hard describe.

My main character in Kill The Killer (So I Did) is bereaved and his grief doesn’t flow onto the page easily.

And so it shouldn’t.

Just because Julian’s grief is fictional it doesn’t make it any less important, any less consuming, any less personal.

It is just as real as mine.

To be totally honest, it mostly is mine — hey, you write what you know, don’t know; experience.

What makes Julian’s grief especially difficult is that I know the ending.

Real-life grief doesn’t come with that luxury, although ‘luxury’ is a very strong word. It doesn’t come with signposts. So whereas I’ve ended up in a good place and got here unknowing, Julian ends up worse and exactly how does he get there?

Very difficult. Lots of rewording and re-reacting,

I think the trick is simple, as in simple phrases — not understatement but few words. I don’t think grief truly has a voice, at least not one that speaks, so that needs to be shown.

Also, grief has no order — its stages come all in one hour, all over the place. Very messy. Conflicted. It can be senseless and reactive, thoughtful and considerate —it is every emotion rolled up into one, at once.

And finally, it needs to be honest. Grief doesn’t like liars — it makes fools of liars — so it needs to be true to the soul.

Simple, honest words in no order — should be easy but isn’t.


Tomos James