1. KurtistheTurtle
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    KurtistheTurtle Member

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    One Thing You Need To Know Before You Write

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by KurtistheTurtle, May 2, 2010.

    One Thing You Should Consider before writing anything

    I've read stuff where I set it down or closed the window and been left empty and slightly cerebral. Almost like reading bad facebook poetry, you know? I realized what I don't like about them: I have no reaction to them. I thought "is it really this hard to learn how to write?" A quick search and one click later, I read this great advice:

    yes

    yes yes yes

    so take out a pad and write down all the moments of your life that really held a feeling. then, when you write, call out those feelings...not the events, they're just a gateway to the feelings. if you don't have those, find them. if you can't find them, don't write...it wouldn't be worth reading.

    You can't make something out of nothing. It has to come from somewhere.

    quote from http://www.peacecorpswriters.org/pages/depts/resources/resour_writers/100daysbook/bk100da.html

    When I say "emotional" or that it has to come from "real emotion," I say it in the context of what "emotion" is in the article. It is much more broad than something that makes you sad. Its the same as makoto, which the concept of the english language/the culture doesn't exactly have. The meaning of emotion in that article =/= sadness, it is ANYTHING that authentically comes from inside of you.

    In Japan there is word called "makoto." It denotes the path a person's inner self truly wants to take and its valued over truth & justice. It's an idea formed from the deconstructionist tendencies of zen buddhism. The cultural subjectivity it creates accounts for some pretty unconceivable things happening in Japanese society by foreign standards, but the examples of this are really graphic and disturbing so if you really wanna know pm me. This is probably the single most unique feature of Japan and what makes it so fascinating to Americans; especially since they value the collective over the individual. It's kind a contradictory facet of their society which generates a lot of conflicting forces.

    Anyway, writing should come from your makoto. It should follow your true feelings and instincts regardless of anything else because that is what people react to on a basic level. Everybody who can write a simple sentence has the ability and experience to do this and anybody who doesn't do this is selling themselves short. The closest word for it in english is emotional. Writing has to come from real emotion, a real place. It has to come from makoto.
     
  2. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    So if a story isn't full of emotion, it's garbage? If the writer hasn't gone through an emotional experience, (s)he can never stand up to those who have? An arrogant view, one I most certainly do not share. I don't want everything I read to pluck my heartstrings. I only read to get an interesting tale.
     
  3. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that you're both right up to a point. You definitely do need to feel those emotional highs and lows at certain points of a novel. If you can laugh and cry with the major characters, it creates empathy and allows you to get more into the story, I think, so those moments, as a writer, are definitely worth striving for.

    But FMK makes a fair point. There can be long, relatively emotionless and detached sections within a story, and they can still make compelling reading if the author is talented enough. A writer needs many skills. :)
     
  4. KurtistheTurtle
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    KurtistheTurtle Member

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    umm, what? Lol, this sort of put me off. I'm not saying they can't write about stuff they've never experienced; human emotions are...shared by all humans. Yes, the writer who hasn't gone through an emotional experience has no chance against one who has.

    Except none of us haven't gone through an emotional experience. Every single person on this planet has something writing about. We all have defining moments in our life and even if they're not incredibly cinematic, if built up right they're just as effective. But I'm not talking about the how, I'm talking about where the writing comes from.

    I'm trying to say the story has gotta come from somewhere. It doesn't have to be really sad or whatever you seem to think I mean from the example in the article I cited. The purpose of that was to show the power of words and denote the universal nature of the feelings they can evoke. It can be in the form of a giant sci-fi allegory where everybody is happy and fuzzy and have the same impact I'm talking about--the purpose of the story has to have an authentic emotional root in the author's mind.

    you certainly are aloud to make mistakes :D
     
  5. KurtistheTurtle
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    KurtistheTurtle Member

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    If its emotionally detached it is never interesting. But I think we're all getting caught up on the phrasing here

    In Japan there is word called "makoto." It denotes the path a person's inner self truly wants to take and its valued over truth & justice. It's an idea formed from the deconstructionist tendencies of zen buddhism. The cultural subjectivity it creates accounts for some pretty unconceivable things happening in Japanese society by foreign standards, but the examples of this are really graphic and disturbing so if you really wanna know pm me. This is probably the single most unique feature of Japan and what makes it so fascinating to Americans; especially since they value the collective over the individual. It's kind a contradictory facet of their society which generates a lot of conflicting forces.

    Anyway, writing should come from your makoto. It should follow your true feelings and instincts regardless of anything else because that is what people react to on a basic level. Everybody who can write a simple sentence has the ability and experience to do this and anybody who doesn't do this is selling themselves short. The closest word for it in english is emotional. Writing has to come from real emotion, a real place. It has to come from makoto.
     
  6. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    I'll just speak for myself. My stories do come from somewhere, but not from emotional occurrences in my life. The stories I've been working on for about two years now represent my wishes. I'm writing about the life I wish I were living, the life I wish were possible for me to live. It has nothing to do with my emotions and everything to do with fantasies.

    I think you really should get rid of your idea of absolutes. I have yet to come across any absolutes in writing that hold true. No one has to do things one way or another, and if people find another way that works better for them, no one has any right to tell them they're doing it wrong. That said, I see where you're coming from now and it makes more sense.
     
  7. KurtistheTurtle
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    KurtistheTurtle Member

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    Some things are absolute and some things aren't but at the same time its all relative. Different realities have different values. But talking about that won't get us anywhere and I feel like I'm not phrasing this adequately enough because we're arguing the same point.
     
  8. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I'm glad that one is settled to everyone's satisfaction!

    Or is it?

    Watch this space..... ;)
     
  9. laciemn
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    laciemn Senior Member

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    I think instincts are underrated in writing. I don't know so much about "writing with emotion," I mean, you should be interested in what you are writing, but if you are a sobbing mess ,then how will you get anything done?
    I think the reader is basically the one who puts in the emotion, to an extent.
     
  10. rainy
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    rainy Senior Member

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    I think we're confusing emotion with drama :)

    You can channel *something* to write. Even if that something is your wishes and dreams. Or taking the feeling of rescuing a cat from the being put to sleep, and turning it into the emotion you feel when you just saved the entire planet from destruction.

    If you have no emotion, you probably wouldn't write a good story. But everyone has emotions. Just channel it.

    Emotion.

    Not drama.

    Just my take on the OP.

    However. . .that's just one of many ways writers can, and do, get the job done.

    //R
     
  11. black-radish
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    black-radish Senior Member

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    There is a dutch writer who wrote a book from a mothers POV who lost her daughter... a year later, she lost her daughter.. and she said she could never ever have written that book after it happened.

    But when I write about something I always use my own life experience as a neverending well of inspiration. :)
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that!
     
  13. KurtistheTurtle
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    KurtistheTurtle Member

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    >.> *frustration*

    what part of my writing led to your interpretation that I'm dealing in absolutes? In a sense, I am but it accepts the personal varieties of everybody. I feel like I'm not getting my message through and I don't know why its bugging me so much. Maybe I'm on a high horse or maybe I'm just not taking things into account that I should be
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe it has something to do with how you titled the thread, and phrased the initial post.

    Not an accusation, just an observation.
     
  15. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    I think it's possible to overthink the process. Find your characters, find your stories, plant your seat in the seat of the chair, write, revise, repeat ad infinitum.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    a bit of both, i fear... first of all, for someone who i believe originally admitted to only having been writing for a couple of years to set himself up as an authority/teacher of any aspect of writing is a bit odd, to say the least... it was all downhill from there, for some of us like myself, who's been writing for longer than you've been alive...

    you meant well, of course... but that didn't help much...

    hugs, m
     

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