Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Musings: Heart and Soul

Have you ever noticed this when you are reading? You can always seem to tell when the work came from the heart versus when it came from the head? I notice it too. That is not to say one is more valuable than the other, it just to say the difference is noticeable. I am not just a reader of fiction. I have to admit over the last few years I have read more nonfiction than not. Perhaps it is a sign of aging, or some need for the brain to be in a learning cycle rather than entertainment. In any instance, fiction or nonfiction, the difference is still noticeable.

When I was in high school, I turned to books for escapism. I suspect many high school age young people of today read for the same reason. The books I enjoyed the most were the ones that oozed of the passion of the author. It was all in the way the story was worded. The content and how the events were conveyed. E. L. Doctorow is quoted as saying, “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” This can only happen if the author has put the passion of the rain in the scene. How does it smell, how does it come about, from where does the rain fall and why? What does it feel like when it hits the reader?

As I am writing The Chrysalis Series, I am attempting to keep this in mind. It is my hope to bring the reader into the story with the characters. It is my hope the reader will experience the events in the story alongside of the characters. However, not every reader will enjoy the way the story is constructed. I can accept that, and I don’t mind. Those who dislike the story are of just as much value as those who like it. Constructing a story is hard work that must come from the heart and soul. Ask any painter and they will tell you the same of their vocation.

Many times I have said that Charles Dickens and Emily Dickinson are two of my classic favorites. The reason is their writing, be it fiction or poetry, is inspired. It comes from a living, breathing part of their soul that just could not be contained. Another of my favorites is Danielle Steele. Wow, haven’t heard that name in a while, but you know what? Danielle Steele stands out because of the passion she poured into her stories. My favorite Danielle Steele book is Zoya. The story of Anastasia is a timeless classic in all its forms. I enjoy reading Debbie Macomber because of the simplicity of the stories. Sometimes the greatest passions come in the simplest forms. I have yet to read another author who can bring everyday living to life as she does in the written word.

I am constructing my Amazon Wish List and at the top of that list is author, Teodor Flonta. Of all the up and coming authors I have read, simply put, this guy can write. I am paled by his fluency in story building. A Luminous Future is at the very top of the list. I have not read the entire story yet, but I want to. Somehow, Teodor has evoked emotion in this heart of mine. I found myself hanging on every word of the sample, feeling compassion and horror all at the same time. The whole scene just screamed of passionate storytelling. It was as though it is a story that must be told. Not everyone can write like this. Not everyone can evoke this type of sensation from the first pages. Kudos to Mr. Flonta for his triumph in telling his story.

Not long ago, I was set to press the delete button and walk away from The Butterfly Fields, never to think on it again. I was frustrated that the words I chose were not conveying the feelings I wanted to evoke. I hated my story. I wanted to rip up the pages, and then found I would have to print all of them first just to rip them up. Then I wanted to delete the whole file and be done with it. Then, I closed the manuscript, shutdown the laptop and walked away. I am certain that all writers go through this, no matter what they are writing. I think I remember this same situation while writing my high school theme paper on Marie Antoinette.

Charles Dickens did not start out as a world renowned author. Emily Dickinson never saw her works in print, they were published posthumously. And, I  have read the countless numbers of stories of today’s authors who were rejected and or ridiculed for their work before becoming famous. I like Debbie Macomber’s story with Harlequin the best. In a nutshell she was told she should go home, trash her manuscript and never write again. Six million books later she’s a fantastic author.
I am still in the seedling state of writing. I suspect I won’t be a full grown author for some time. However, I am doing the best I can with the talent I have, and I won’t give it up for anything; and neither should you.