Posts tagged love
The Emotions in Writing (Quote of the Day)

It's interesting to me to think that we may each have one facet of our emotions that "informs our writing," as Ben Elton seems to imply. For him, it's love. Love is the strongest thing he's ever felt, and that gives a unique character to his writing. But what about the rest of us? What emotions might leave their stamp like fingerprints on other authors' writings?

For me, personally, the strongest emotion I have ever felt is sadness. It's not that I've felt sadness more often than any other emotion; it's simply that I've felt it… more. Truthfully, my life has been extremely happy. There's been an abundance of joy, love, and gratitude. But I've felt grief more deeply than joy. Tears have left a longer-lasting impression than laughter. Sadness tends to wrap a fist around me, while joy feels more like a gentle hand on my shoulder—no matter how great that joy may be.

To give an example: as a Christian, I can say that I'm more emotionally impacted by the crucifixion than the Ressurection. One of my favorite bible verses is the simple, two-word phrase, "Jesus wept." The idea of God coming to earth and dying strikes me more than the idea that I will go to heaven and live eternally.

That all may sound depressing and macabre, but the thing is, it isn't. I don't wallow. I don't enjoy being sad and I'm not fascinated by inherently sad things. Despair isn't in my nature; in fact, I'm probably the most dogged optimist you'll ever meet. Grief has so much beauty to me because it's so closely intertwined with hope. Incredible things can grow out of horrible circumstances, which makes them even more incredible. That is what leaves a lasting impression on me; that is what informs my writing. It's undeniable: grief and hope together make my stories what they are; when you read them, that's ultimately what you see. And that's okay in my book.

Today's Prompt: What emotion do you feel the most strongly? Identify it and then write a story in which that one emotion is completely absent.

Happy Writing!

KC

Love at First Draft--How to Keep the Spark Alive (Quote of the Day)

NicholasSparksQuote When I wrote the last page of my first novel, I cried. I mean, they weren't rolling-down-your-cheeks-and-landing-in-your-coffee tears, but there was definitely a shine in my eyes. There's an astounding sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing a book. All of a sudden, there you are, with a couple hundred pages that you eked out all by yourself--maybe over the course of months; maybe in a few frenzied days or weeks. For some of us, our stories have been in the works for years and are just now coming to a close. It's an emotional experience, no matter how long it's taken. And when it's done? Well that calls for tears--shouts for joy--happy dances--running out the door and kissing random people in the streets! It's finished; it's finished; hooray!

But notice that Sparks says, "the last page of the first draft." Does he know what he's talking about or what? Once we go through hours of editing and revising and scrapping and rewriting, the excitement tends to wane. Your once-cherished story starts to lose its loveliness after you've stared at the same pages for hours, borrowing from the thesaurus and taking out/putting back the same bewildering comma over and over again. Before you know it, your relationship with your novel reminds you of your grandparents' marriage. You know what I'm talking about. The ones who've been together forever, which is amazing, but... They buy each other socks for Christmas and pick spinach out of each others' teeth.

Oh, and they keep squabbling about whether that silly comma belongs or not.

I wish we could hold onto that "last-page-first-novel" feeling all the time. Wouldn't that be great? Well... I think we can at least get it back. I propose that this week, you do something special with your novel; reignite that old spark.

No, I don't mean take it out for a fancy dinner and champagne; what I mean is, leave it alone. Seriously. Take a vacation from editing. Put your novel in a box or a dark corner for a week. Maybe even two weeks. Then, when you start to miss it, go back to the first chapter and read. Just read. Resist the red pen and pretend like this book isn't something you wrote. My bet? You'll find yourself falling in love all over again.

Today's Prompt: Write a comedic story about your grandparents, or another elderly couple--real or fictional--who've been together "forever."

Happy Writing! KC

Quote of the Day--Henry David Thoreau

lovequote

I chose a quote about love today because this subject is the most difficult for me. Stereotypically, as a woman, I should easily be able to write a great, lovey-dovey, emotion-loaded scene, right? No. Wrong. I would much rather write a scene of someone being literally cut off at the knees than write a kissing scene. Don't worry; I can do it. It's just not quite as easy for me as many other types of writing. Oftentimes I have a hard time suspending my disbelief enough to write someone falling in real-true-honest-to-god-love within a handful of book pages. Realistically, it always seems like it should take longer than it does, which is something I feel while reading as well as writing. Ironic, considering that my husband and I got engaged 1 month after we met...

Anyway, I've decided to take this quote and apply it to my writing. "There is no remedy for (writing about) love but to (write about) love more." Practice makes perfect; isn't that that thing everybody says? So if you're like me and have a hard time writing about love, let's practice together.

Today's Prompt: Write a story in which the main character meets someone completely new and proceeds to fall in love--believably--in ONE PAGE only.

May the Force be with you.

KC

Quote of the Day—Maya Angelou



You know that feeling when something amazing happens to you and you just have to tell someone? Or that feeling when you get an idea for a new novel or short story and you know you just have to start this new project? For me, that's a so-exciting-it's-almost-painful feeling. Tight-chested, butterflies, invincible, yet vulnerable—the works. Honestly, the feeling I get when I think of a new story to tell is very similar to the feeling of falling in love. I think that's what Maya Angelou was talking about. I can't imagine not being able to tell my story—having that feeling all the time and then not being able to do anything about it. That definitely would be agony. I believe that, like in a relationship, once a story gets started and matures, that feeling starts to change. Not that it's not still love (because it is), but it just becomes steadier. And that's because we aren't meant to have that so-exciting-it-hurts feeling forever—after a while the excitement would wear off and only hurt would remain. An unwritten story is like unrequited love. Ultimately we have to take the leap; go deeper or give up. We have to tell somebody.

Today's Prompt: Has there been a story brewing inside of you? Have you felt what Angelou described? Do something about it! Get started and write the opening to your untold story.

Share it in the comments or if you'd rather, keep it to yourself. Either way, get writing!

KC