WFMAD Day 19 – Anger is a writer’s best friend


If you haven’t read the post I wrote at 4 am this morning about the lawsuit recently filed that accuses authorities at a Republic, MO middle school of covering up the alleged rapes of a special needs student, please do so now.


We do not have a word in English that adequately expresses how angry I am about this.

But this is a WFMAD post. It is not the place for me to go all fire-and-brimstone on the hindquarters of adults who epically fail in their responsibilities to the children in their care.


One of the tricks to being a balanced, productive writer is to take the emotional fastballs that life hurtles toward your head and transform them into something you can use in your writing. If you want to write for teens and kids, the chances are almost 100% that you care deeply about them. This means you are going to spend a lot of time being upset at the way they are treated.


Anger, stoked in a righteous fire and smoothed with the hammer of integrity, becomes narrative energy.


Ready… Don’t take any time to be ready. Tell the people around you to leave you alone for 15 minutes. Put on head phones. Make the stupid world go away. And don’t give me any back-talk, OK?


Set… “Everywhere, everywhere, children are the scorned people of the earth.” AND “I get angry about things, then go on and work.” both quotes from Toni Morrison


Today’s prompt: What pisses you off? What action, person, offense, crime, indignity, injustice, horror scratches your soul like a sulphur-tipped match on sandpaper? I’m not talking about the jerk who cuts you off in traffic, or a parking ticket, or a partner who leaves socks on the living room floor. I’m talking about dangerous anger. World-changing anger. Revolutionary rage.


Write about what makes you that angry. I double-dog dare you.


Extra bonus points if you get so fired up that you write about what makes your character that angry, too.


Scribble… Scribble… Scribble…

5 Replies to “WFMAD Day 19 – Anger is a writer’s best friend”

  1. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that I come across in life that make me angry. I don’t generally consider myself an angry person, but I don’t understand how anyone could learn about the atrocious things that occur every day in life, and not get angry about it.

    I tend to read a lot of articles about crime and criminals. Nothing ever makes me as angry as the crimes committed against children. I am absolutely disgusted by cases where a child dies of abuse; there are so many of them, and it breaks my heart and boils my blood. One particularly rage-inducing one for me was the story of Charlie Hunt, who died while under the supervision of his mother’s boyfriend. Police found multiple videos on his cell phone that he recorded, which showed him torturing and abusing the little boy.

  2. Ben Kingsley once introduced Steven Speilberg at a tribute, and he spoke about when they were working on “Schindler’s List.”

    He said something like, “As we got further into filming, I crossed those emotional boundaries we try to keep in check as actors. Till one day, when Steven came to me and asked if I was ready, I said, ‘I am in a state of rage.’ And he said, ‘So am I. Let’s get to work.'”

  3. This time last year our family lost it’s soul. He was too young to be lost, and we were too young to lose him. At first my writing suffered – I tried WFMAD. It helped a little, but writing was so, so hard. Now? Writing is the way I channel all of my emotions: anger and sadness and everything else the world tries to knock us over with. Writing always has been something that helps me through, but now it is more important than ever. Just to be able to write at all now is a blessing, after what happened last summer stopping me being able to write at all.

    Writing is my weapon. My armour. My darkest spell. And I intend to use it Laurie, I intend to use it to fight those things that make me so angry I feel like shouting at the sky until it falls down.

  4. This and the previous post opened some old wounds for me. I suppose we writer’s also need to befriend our old wounds. My 15 minutes for this yesterday was a cut loosed rant. I did end up editing a portion of it into a post but the fact that I began it with no intention of publishing it allowed me to be more honest with myself and say things I needed to see/hear said. That tells me I can’t stop with the 15 minutes just because August ends. They are becoming as necessary as my BP meds.

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