Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Feelings #amlearning

I've always connected feelings to emotions. Is this true or false? Are there layers to Feelings I haven't explored. While re-reading Techniques of a Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain, one of the best books on writing I've ever read, I came across this bit about Feelings. "Feeling is a thing you build through manipulation of motivation and reaction." Mr. Swain says there are a number of steps to building feelings in a story. I've found them of much interest.

The writer has to decide what is good and what is bad. This took me a lot of thinking and I thought about mysteries I've written where death plays a large role. Death can be good or bad. Death brings feelings among the created characters. An expected death when a person has been suffering could be a good death. In some stories I've read, a character has sacrificed theit life for another. This could be considered a good death. Murder on the other hand can be considered a bad death. Or is it?

How does one decide? What about the facts? Are they things we read in books? Yes. Are they things we have been taught that others around us believe? Generally. So what doe facts have to do with feelings? Much depends on the person viewing the facts and this is where character creating comes into play. Using a character's reaction to a fact can deepen his character. While the character might not react to the fact the same way as the writer has, the writer must stay true to what the created person would believe and act. This can be difficult since it means the writer must put themselves into the character's shoes. That becomes the second stage of showing Feelings or emotions.

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