Sunday, February 3, 2013

High Emotion Events

I've spoken before about certain events and their effect on my writing.  As I thought more about it, I came to realize that it's exactly these kinds of high emotion events that allow us to write our best.  Try though I might to create new worlds out of thin air, I don't get the depth of intensity that comes only from events one might consider earth shattering.
(The best descriptions come from events of vivd detail)
This can be difficult.  I don't mean difficult in the sense of not having significant emotional events in our lives.  If we're at all human, we've had those things that have shaken the foundations of our world, whether it be a death, a birth, or some sense of terror that we would never wish to re-experience.  However, it's the translation of those things to the page that is hard.

We can't confine our writing to that time we nearly lost our child to some unseen factor found in the nick of time, or the battle we fought on some foreign battlefield in which we lost a friend.  Those are very specific personal events, and they wouldn't mean much to the average reader.  However, being able to twist the feeling into something original can produce superior writing.

In novels like Akeldama, I obviously haven't encountered a cabal of vampires bent on ruling humanity, but I was able to describe certain events within the book by drawing on my own experiences from my time in combat.  I recall the sense of helplessness I felt when I encountered a friend of mine who died on the battlefield.  I remembered the sense of righteous anger I had and what I wanted to do to those who'd killed him.  My writing allowed me to deal with that anger in fantasy in a way I couldn't in real life.

The main character in Akeldama also had to deal with an incredible betrayal that shook the foundation of his world.  After dealing with an event that I could match to that situation, I was able to better get across what the character felt.  Certainly it wasn't on the same scale, but I could translate a very personal situation at the time I was writing it to the scene, and it made for a much more in depth piece of work.

Tapping these situations is the difference between being a decent storyteller and capturing someone's feelings to the point where they care about the characters in your novel.  Think to your own life events, especially those that kept you up at night or caused you the greatest amount of stress.  Is there some way to can apply those events to your work?  Can your work evolve around such emotions?  Deep feeling and passion help us in bringing depth to what we write, and when we can make the leap between what we've experienced and our tales, we bring forth work that should make an impression on even the most emotionally disconnected reader.

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