I am starting another full run through of edits of \”Practical Flying\”. My crit group, bless their little hearts, continue to say that my writing is fine, just utterly devoid of emotion. Yeppers. Story of my life there. So, I instigated a two step plan of action. The first step is to read books that contain said emotion. Step 2 involves writing at 4:30 in the morning. I\’m finding that it\’s easier to write emotion before the brain is fully awake. And I can even ignore the dog snoring now.
I know the characters and I know what they are feeling, when I actually stop to think about it, but I\’m not getting the work done. I\’m still not able to get the reader to feel it as well. I\’m too afraid of telling the reader what to think and feel, because I hate that in books. I like the E.L.Doctorow quote, to the effect of don\’t tell the reader it\’s raining, let him feel the drops. Wait, I\’m on line, no reason not to get the quote exact…
If you did not write every day, the poisons would accumulate and you would begin to die, or act crazy or both — you must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
A writer is like a bag lady going through life with a sack and a pointed stick collecting stuff.
Planning to write is not writing. Outlining a book is not writing. Researching is not writing. Talking to people about what you\’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.
–E. L. Doctor
Nope, those aren\’t it, but I just found them and I like them. Here is what I was looking for : \”Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader–not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.\”
That\’s what I want to do. Back to the saltmines…
Well, truth be told, I liked your latest batch of writing. I have had trouble with some of your previous batches, but I have the same problem about this emotion thing as you, as you well know. I was sure I did, but am told I didn\’t (in my latest).And I will repeat, I believe she is right. Writing is an art. You and I both have a tendency to want to get on with it. The other, the setting and emotion we do see as important, but sort of like dressing, not substance per se. We are constantly being reminded, correctly, it is equal to any other part of the writing.As you saw, I had a nervous breakdown when told again how it was inadequate, yours and mine, when I saw yours as adequate, and mine too. I don\’t sleep at night from it too. Then it starts to sink in, after I\’ve convinced myself I can\’t do it, I see how I can. And at least get better.I know I need it. I can\’t imagine not being in the same writing group as you two. I want to make it, and the three of us seem to really want us each to make it. I need that, and so do you, and you see it too, just are braver than me about it.