Sunday, May 15, 2011

Let Go of Reason to Write Better? Could Be...

Photo snagged by Denny S. Bryce from an Internet blog.

Emotions are circumstances that task the heart as well as the mind. They help us tell a tale of extremes: extreme love, extreme hate, extreme pain, anguish and joy, guilt and sorrow, and fun and laughter. Those are the ingredients of good drama.

For some writers--like me--those emotions aren't easy for my characters. But good news! I am finally coming to grips with why my characters must show emotions in circumstances (scenes) that matter. I had this latest revelation during revisions of my 86,000 word manuscript.

Putting my characters in the front a speeding train has never been easy. It takes constant thought and concentration and I admire those who are make it so readily a integral part of their story telling.

In my non-writing life, I spend my time putting chaos in order, crafting the crazy into a seamless organized performance. So messing up a life (or ten:) is tough, nose to the grindstone, work. We've all heard that putting your characters in bad situations is hard. For me, I'm breaking a routine, a habit I've spent  twenty-five years perfecting.

Now, I must let go of rationale thought and seek out angst and grief, love and pain, laughter and tears. I now know that it's not just about creating a believable bad guy (which I've always found an easier task) it's about creating conflict and emotions throughout a story, from scene to scene, paragraph to paragraph, and each word has to matter. I want the reader to stare at the pages I wrote and say: wow, that's intense.

So you see, that's what I learned during my latest revision -- I can let go of reason.

And my characters are going to go through hell from here on out because of it.

How sweet is that?

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