Storytelling from the State of Detachment

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie or TV show where you walked away from it with tears in your eyes and the cause was a moving or heart-wrenching scene? I’m sure many people can attest to that; and when I mean by many, I definitely mean most people. And yes, I’ve definitely heard the phrase more often than not how “If that scene where [such and such happened] didn’t make you cry, then you have no soul.” Well… I guess in that case, I have quite a ball to drop.

I rarely cry at such scenes as the ones described. I’m like a rock in those case scenarios. Seriously, you could put the beginning from the movie, “Up,” on repeat and I still wouldn’t shed a tear. I could read the blood bath scene in The Hunger Games without struggle. Honestly, the only thing that has ever made me tear up is Isao Takahata’s film, “Grave of the Fireflies.” Other than that, I really do not get emotionally involved when it comes to the various mediums of storytelling. Why you wonder, as you ponder whether I really am that heartless? That’s primarily because when in storytelling, whether if it’s absorbing someone else’s story or telling one myself, I’m always in this state of detachment.

I don’t know how it originally began and how common it is for other storytellers to go into a similar state when consuming or producing a story themselves. What I can at least theorize about why I’m able to slip into the state so easily is that perhaps subconsciously, I know that what I’m looking at isn’t really happening; and even if the story is based on a real life occurrence, I at least know that what I’m consuming is a reiteration of the event. In general, no one is really getting hurt and that primarily, there’s a shelf life to fall back on.

Does it make me a lacking consumer or producer of the story if I’m not emotionally involved? Because if anything, aside from having a story to tell, that’s part of the reason why people read books and watch movies and TV in the first place; to get involved with the characters and the overall plot. I mean let’s face it. J.K. Rowling wouldn’t have been able to create the Dementors the way she did if it weren’t for the fact that she was channeling her depression into them.

But sometimes, I consider my state of detachment to be a good thing. If I were to write a heart-wrenching scene but was having trouble doing so without causing water works to start, then I’d never get anywhere. Same for when consuming a story too. I wouldn’t have been able to get through as many Haruki Murakami novels as I have if I kept pondering on the one too many sad elements in his stories. In a way, it’s almost like a protective state of denial to fall into that what I’m writing or consuming before me isn’t actually happening.

Unfortunately, to be in a state of detachment can be quite consuming as well, where it can be difficult to snap out of. It’s consuming enough as to where it can even seep out into real life. The best way of putting this is that anytime someone I know has died, I never cry. Whether if their death is expected or completely out of the blue, my state of detachment dissolves the occurrence enough as to where I just go into this sedated state of shock. That’s why it often takes a really long time for me to respond to a person’s passing. But in that manner, I guess it’s also beneficial, in terms of not having to feel the impact as quick as others.

The state of detachment; the place where I subconsciously slip into that make tear jerking scenes in stories- and real life occurrences- surprisingly more bearable to consume. I just wonder how common that is, and whether if this is considered “normal.” It’s not so much that I am soul-less when it’s a state of mind I reflexively slip into.

A Moment’s Worth is now available through the following venues: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, iTunes. Please leave a review if you can, for my goal is to get a total of at least 20 reviews on all venues (so far, I’ve gotten 12 reviews so I’m already just past the halfway point to my goal). Check out its Goodreads page, which includes two trivia quizzes for all who’ve completed reading it already.

Also, if you haven’t done so already, please go vote on whether or not you would like for my second novel to be available in print or not. This poll will go on until the time comes to start the publishing process, so the more input on this decision, the better.

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