Monday, January 18, 2010

Grieving and Celebrating

I always find it interesting how we are never really of one mind, as humans -- how we can feel complex layers of emotion and somehow manage to function with a multitude of emotional threads clamoring for our attention.

It should come as no surprise that writers who create characters who also feel layers of emotion manage to create characters who are as real as ourselves, and who can become friends of sorts, whom we revisit over the years. And even though their stories may stay the same, what we bring to those stories changes as we do, and therefore what we take from those stories also changes and fulfills us differently each time we visit.

I remind myself of this as I am both grieving for the loss of possibilities, a life I used to live, and also looking forward with much excitement to some things which will take place this year, in the life I currently live. I hold both despair and hope in my heart, knowing hope eventually will win.

As a writer, I know I need to use these layers, if not exactly how I am living them, then some simulacrum of that. This is as honest as I know how to be -- using my real emotions in a character, so that a reader can live for the moment in a place which feels as real as their own reality. This is raw and intimidating and leaves me feeling exposed and vulnerable, but it is dishonest, I feel, to try and write in any other way.

Let yourself experience your emotions as deeply and as fully as you can. Do not shy away from them. Then let your characters do the same. Then, and only then, you can write truth.

The Final Snippet: "You are going to hell in a ham-basket." (overheard during a poker game, by someone who did not hear the original phrase correctly).

1 comment:

  1. "I am large. I contain multitudes."
    --Walt Whitman