Wounds to win

For my WIP, A Cord of Three, I dove deep into the emotional wounds the three point-of-view sisters have in the fictional story. I used the tools available at ONE STOP FOR WRITERS (my go-to writing resources for the early stages of my writing process) and their book, THE EMOTIONAL WOUND THESAURUS.

Since many of these wounds represent the real wounds that my sisters and I experienced or are experiencing, this has been an emotional journey and even triggered old wounds and mild PTSD symptoms as I relived some key moments of my past. As a result, I’ve built this list of how I integrate my real-life emotional wounds into my fiction writing.

1. Failing to do the Right Thing

Failing to do the right thing

Winning Despite Failure Requires Honesty

No matter how we justify a failure or our response to it, especially when it comes to doing the right thing, lies are often at the root of it all. Everybody does it. It’s normal for teenagers to do that.It’s not that bad.Time heals all wounds.

2. When a Parent Doesn’t Care

I’ve barely scratched the surface here as I begin exploring the responses each of my characters will have to being raised by an uncaring, insensitive mother.

Because I desire my real life experiences to be only a springboard to my fiction, I’m exploring the facet of a truly uncaring parent. However, I also believe that even those parents probably don’t care because of wounds from their childhood.

Regardless of reality or reasons for actions or words that send a message that someone doesn’t care, the emotional wounds that result can manifest in many ways.

3. My Parents’ Divorce

My Parents Divorce

I have a memory of sitting at the dining room table when I was seven years old. And though I’m sure the exact details are muddled and inaccurate, the moment would define the course of the rest of my life:

4. Source of our Fears

source of fears

For every emotional wound we hold on to, there is a fear associated with it. Sometimes we don’t realize where our fear stems from until we dig into our past to understand it, and decide not to place blame or make excuses for the broken people we are today.

5. Not Belonging

Not Belonging

There was a little part of me that felt I didn’t belong. That I was the odd one in the bunch. Looking back, it was probably because they all seemed more comfortable with each other due to having known each other before kindergarten.

6. A Nomadic Childhood

A nomadic Childhood

For those fortunate enough to grow up in the same house or town your whole life, you are blessed and I hope you didn’t take that stability for granted. But you also can’t know what it’s like to adjust and make the most of life when everything is new and different. More than a new town or living space, there is a settling in one’s soul that requires adjusting as well.

7. Being Sexually Violated

Being Sexually violated

I have not written a full post on this topic. To be honest, it is a very difficult wound for me to explore. I was surprised at how writing the scene in my story related to this wound (I won’t go in too deep for spoiler reasons) spurred emotions I had not felt in decades. Due to all that’s happening in our society and my vulnerability at this moment,  I’m not feeling strong enough to explore it deeper. But, God willing, He will guide me in posting a proper entry on this topic in the future.

8. Becoming a Caregiver at an Early Age

I feel like I’ve always had someone in my charge. From being in charge of  two sisters and two step-brothers at the age of eleven, to being a teen mom and eventually mom of five, and most recently caring for my grandchildren while my daughter and son-in-law work during the past three years, I’m not even sure how to approach life without little ones in tow! But I’m getting close to a life without the need to care for children on a regular basis. And I’m really not even sure how to do that! This is definitely a topic I’ll be exploring more in the coming years as my youngest child finishes out high school.

For the purpose of my WIP, this wound belongs to Sadie. As she tips on the cusp of becoming a mom for the first time in the present-day story line, she battles her past failures as the oldest sister and the resentment she has toward their mother for forcing her to be responsible for them.

9. Growing up in the Shadow of a Sibling


Another wound I have yet to write a full post on, but an important one in regard to A Cord of Three. Ava, though the youngest, dictated much of the sisters childhood and choices they made in their teen years. This is one most unlike my sisters or I, though my baby sister did have her moments and was the more social/popular one of us three. Yet, I wonder if in reality, my sisters felt I took the lime light most after I became a teen mom and eventually a mom of five, with my kids and family often became the focus of every family gathering.

11. Being Rejected By One's Peers

Even when we think we’ve overcome our self-esteem issues, rejection from unexpected places can feel like a physical punch in the gut!


For more specifics on how I’ve used the tools and books on ONE STOP FOR WRITERS to develop my WIP, A Cord of Three, see these posts:

One Stop for Writers Emotional Wounds Thesaurus – Sharing as I Create Deep Characters for my WIP

Using the Emotional Wound Thesaurus and More to Prep for NaNoWriMo

The Emotional Wound Thesaurus Book Review