Monday, October 13, 2008

The Writer's Heart

In a recent post, Belinda over at Worderella asked:

“… when you write, who do you keep in mind as you write? The characters? Your overarching plot? Your theme? Your reader? Or all of the above?”

As a writer, I think its important to keep all these things in mind because they are all tied together with the same bow. The characters you create are defined by the plot and how they react to the events (therefore the theme) that propel them forward. The only thing missing from that equation is the reader. And I believe that was the point of Beilndas post. The writer should create plot/characters/theme in the hopes of eliciting a reaction from the reader. But what kind of reaction? Belinda provides that answer:

“ … an author can touch me in such a way that I feel as though my very soul was burned, Im much more likely to recommend the book to a friend. That is what I strive for, something so…fierce, I suppose, that my reader is scorched, forever changed by my writing.”


Whew! Thats a tough task for anyone, not to mention authors who are expected to turn out novel after novel. So how does an author touch the reader? Through emotion. Everyone knows the old adage “write what you know” and I completely agree. Write the emotions you know. And if you dont know them, get to know them. Talk to people, read articles, read books, watch movies, and put your heart into EVERYTHING you write. Your heart is the single most important tool available to you as a writer. Because if YOU dont believe in what your characters feel, the reader sure wont either. Put yourself in your characters soul (not shoes, soul). When you write, BE your character. Listen to the little nuances of your heart and expand on them, as your character.

Speaking in terms of writing Romance:

Making an impression on the reader doesnt always mean sadness. Though one of my goals is to write a book that make readers just BAWL through at least one scene (unlike the movie P.S. I Love You in which I sobbed through the entire thing and hated every minute of it … I like to be happy. Most people do). But in the end, leaving the reader with a smile and a warm, fuzzy feeling in their heart and maybe a bit of laughter on their lips is something romance writers should strive for.

I write romance for the happy ending. As I posted in the comments on Belindas blog, there is enough emotional smog in the world, shouldnt we strive to make the world a better place by injecting joy into the lives of others? That is my goal in writing, to make someone happy. Happiness, like tears, comes from the heart. When you write, use your heart and write what you know.

1 comment:

Belinda (Worderella) said...

This is an excellent post, Emily. I wholeheartedly agree with your goal to both affect the reader emotionally, and to leave them with a warm feeling in their heart.

Thanks for linking to my blog! Keep up the great work, and I look forward to reading more.