Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Tribute to a Special Man

Everything that happens in my life helps me to write -- the fun stuff, the good stuff, and even the sad stuff. Sometimes I think the sad stuff and the scary stuff helps the most. It invokes emotions that we sometimes forget we have. Without these experiences we wouldn't be able to convey those emotions to our readers and make our characters believable.

Writing what you know is more than just writing about places or events or careers that you have had. As a lawyer I can write legal suspense because I practiced law for over a decade. It's believable to the reader because I can provide enough detail to make it realistic. But that's about the plot, and I think the real meat of any novel lies in the characters, and for that the writer needs to have experienced some real hardship and pain otherwise the characters will be flat.

I recently lost a family member who I have known most of my life. His passing evoked so many emotions for me, adoration as a child, love as an adult, and gratitude for the legacy he passed on. I'll miss you, dear brother-in-law. May you rest in peace.

Writers: Do you find yourself writing emotions you have felt? Do you ever have trouble writing an emotion that you haven't felt strongly?

Readers: Do you feel the emotions your characters are experiencing?  Do you ever read books where the emotions don't feel real?

Author of The Advocate Series

7 comments:

  1. My condolences, Teresa.

    As writers, the most genuine, and the most valuable emotions we can articulate are those we've experienced. As for the ones we haven't quite felt, well that's what makes us writers: our ability to empathize, and to absorb and synthesize an array of human emotions and then convey them in as convincing and emotionally earnest way we can.

    Readers are smarter than us. They will always call us out when we write about anything contrived, be it emotions, characters or events.

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  2. My deepest sympathies, Teresa.

    It's something to be grateful for as a writer: We have our craft to help up process grief, fear, and rage and to express our love and joy to a wide audience. The themes, issues, and emotions of each of my novels parallels my life.

    I hope you can take some of what you're feeling—good and bad—and share it with readers in a meaningful way.

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  3. Teresa, I'm so sorry for your loss.

    There are a few advantages to age. One of them is experience. For a writer, remembering those deeply felt emotions is incredibly useful, if somewhat painful.

    I have found that writing poems help me through the biggest bumps (or holes) in my life.

    It sounds as if you have a wonderful handle on your emotions, and will be able to bring them to the page to reach your readers.

    Hugs.

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  4. May his memory be a blessing. My condolences on your loss.

    Sometimes all we can write is the silence between the tears.

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  5. Thank you all for your comments and condolences.

    Teresa

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  6. May his memories bring smiles and his life bring guide posts to what is ahead. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Debra

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