Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Monday, 3 August 2009

Use The Anger

I must appologise for my whine-a-thon last night. My husband actually thought there was a hornet in our living room the whining, droning noise was so loud and kept him awake! Teresa made a comment on that post 'use the anger' and she's quite right. She has had hundreds of short stories published so I'll take any amount of advice from her! Thank you Teresa.

I have had this thought in my mind sinc I read her comment; What are at the heart of short stories? Emotion, some kind of conflict, something that makes the reader 'feel' the character and their predicament. If you can harness your own emotions and pour them into your character do you not breathe life into them. You know how it feels to be angry, jealous, frustrated, sad, happy, estatic, puzzled, outraged, indignant, remorseful, defiant and the many other emotional states we find ourselves in from time to time. So if you can inject some of your emotional reality into the character you give them dimension and depth.

I know not everyone feels an emotion or reacts to that emotion in the same way, for some of us (like me) our emotions are bubbling away near to the surface and they erupt like a volcano for all to see. But for some of us our emotions are deep within us and are closely guarded and kept in check. Emotions are also constantly changing - people change, they become stronger, harder, or develop a softness around the edges over the years. And It's up to us, the writer, to give those emotions some realism, to resist cliched reactions, and give our characters that emotional depth and vunerabilty. If we can do this we draw the reader in as we give them something they can relate to, something that resonates with them.

We all know the novels, short stories and poems that touch us deeply in some way; we've all read pieces of writing that move us - make us laugh, cry, the bottom lip tremor and that's the kind of emotional depth women's magazine editors are looking for. Something that makes the characters shout "I'm here! I'm real! Get used to it!" If you can make the reader think, and react to the emotion the characters are displaying then you are on to a winner - a cracking story.

So next time you get angry - write down your thoughts, what triggered it, what's going on in your body, what do you feel, what are you doing, actions, how you're speaking etc and do the same when you're sad, happy or whatever. Read stories that make you connect with them on an emotional level; what is is about them, their language, flow, sequence of events, that moves you. What is it that makes them work? And try and transpose that to your own writing.

Julie xx


Carole Anne Carr said...

Well done, Julie, a very interesting challenge, I hope you have lots of takers....Hugs...xxx

Julie P said...

Hi, Carole! My challenge is just a bit of fun really. A chalenge to get everyone writing and a welcome article writing distraction for me. I seem to be up to my ears in articles at the moment - not that I'm complaining - but I could do with writing some fiction and I thought this challenge would fit the bill and get other writers to think about their characters and have some fun too! Dood practice.

I'll probably have no enteries but I'm going to write my 300 words anyway - just for the sheer joy of it.

Julie xx

Olivia Ryan said...

Hi Julie. Just been catching up on your blog and sorry to hear about your frustrations with the road at the school. I do think sometimes anger is a very healthy and useful emotion, providing you with the adrenalin to try and get things done. Teresa is so right, too, to suggest using the anger in your writing. I look forward to hearing about some nice angry stories you've written in due course!

Julie P said...

I shall be so chilled out when I get all that anger out of my system and I hope to have a fair few short stories out of it too!

Julie xx