Life happens to all of us. For writers, all of it is grist for the mill: the good the bad and the downright ugly. Don’t you love Marian Keye’s attitude?
I have a beloved aunt who has one of the funniest people I know. I asked her about it once and she said that, for her, it’s a nervous reaction. I sometimes wish I and certain others would develop that reaction. It would be a lot more socially acceptable!
Sometimes the funny side of a situation takes a while for us to see, but writing about it helps. I think I’m going to try seeing the funny side a lot sooner.
Perspective is everything. What you see and how you feel depends on your point of view. The same events written from different points of view will necessarily be coloured by a person’s focus.
The choice of point of view character is vital in storytelling. The reader experiences the story through the eyes, experiences, beliefs and attitudes of the character. This, for me, is one of the most interesting aspects of reading a great story written by a good writer.
Experiencing a story through the mind of a well-developed character, learning how they think and feel, understanding their point of view, can be a great learning curve. The resulting empathy broadens one’s mind, can make one a better person.
When I was reading recently, the words tugged at my heartstrings, popped with new ideas, blasted away the protective coating on my emotions, soothed the hurt, tore the skin off old wounds, then cleansed everything with fresh tears. That’s the pleasure of reading a good book by a skilful writer (The book was Away in Montana by Jane Porter whom I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting several times over the past 11 years).
But, that’s not what the quote talks about. How does writing make me feel? A whole range of emotions including the above. I remember writing my first novel for NaNoWriMo in 2005, sitting at my desk at 11pm when my tradesman husband had been in bed for hours and gotten up again. He said, “Are you coming to bed yet?” My response? “But I want to know what happens!” No, I hadn’t plotted that one! Some things have changed but not all.
‘No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.
No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.’