Friday, May 29, 2009
Posted by Liane Gentry Skye
"Marsha, I love you."
"No, John, you don't!"
"But I do! Really!"
"Oh. Well. Then I guess I love you, too."
"So let's get married."
"Yes, Let's do."
More specifically, writing emotions. Ought to be a piece of cake. After all, who hasn't felt mad, happy, afraid, or in love?
"If you're a romance writer who relies on emotional words carry your character's journey, then chances are you've failed at youre genre." (paraphrased from author/editor Alicia Rasley)
Yeah, I know. She's right. Blows, doesn't it?
Writing realistic depictions of emotion that spring to life on the page is one of most difficult lessons to learn as an author. Yet, there is no more important lesson to learn, particularly for those who want to write moving love stories.
I was fortunate enough to attend a day conference a while back presented by editor/author Alicia Rasley. She's a brilliant teacher, and certainly lives up to her reputation for holding her audience in the palm of her hand.
Much of our discussion was about emotion in writing. I walked way with two "aha" moments, particulary when it comes to building up to those dramatic, emotional moments that define love stories.
1) Trust your reader's intelligence. Never. Ever. Spoon feed.
2) Remove the emotional words from your scene and try again. Once done, you are forced to rely on your character's actions to carry the emotion.
Ah, now we're back to the wisdom we should have learned from our writing 101, but may have forgotten---action is everything, baby. And once again, I'm leaning on a classic movie clip to distract you guys from the fact that this post is woefully short on content because...I'm on deadline. :)