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Old 11-19-2009, 08:25 AM   #1
poshm
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Emotions and writing

Just wondered if any writers here channel any real-life emotions into their writing and if anyone finds it a useful thing to do?

Had a bit of an emotional year but that's not the real me as I am normally very upbeat so am wondering if doing something positive like writing out my feelings might help.

When I write fiction the emotions are always pretend ones - I try to think how the person might feel in the given situation. I've never actually thought to use how I'm feeling in my writing.

Just a thought and interested in other opinions. I also could do with a distraction!
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:33 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by poshm View Post
Just wondered if any writers here channel any real-life emotions into their writing and if anyone finds it a useful thing to do?

Had a bit of an emotional year but that's not the real me as I am normally very upbeat so am wondering if doing something positive like writing out my feelings might help.

When I write fiction the emotions are always pretend ones - I try to think how the person might feel in the given situation. I've never actually thought to use how I'm feeling in my writing.

Just a thought and interested in other opinions. I also could do with a distraction!
I love this question, I really do, because in so many writing forums and writing advice books they shy away from emotions in favour of the mechanics. I can only speak for myself, but I ONLY write when I FEEL something. I can't write when I'm not in any way emotive, or feeling. I NEED to be inspired to write well, and my emotions are more often than not the very inspiration I need.

Everything I write is in reaction to something; a song, an event in my day, a memory of losing someone close, regret, joy, happiness, Christmas (wohoo!). Emotion to me is the core of all good writing, in that it brings me closer to the writer; that individual who lives and breathes and experiences the world differently to every other living and breathing person. That's why I hate the advice so often given to writers that they should 'disappear' behind the words and the stories they tell.

Through your writing I will know your world and all its joys and pains.

So in short; yes, use it, use everything you have that makes you...you.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:46 AM   #3
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I love your answer, Moejoe.

I don't know anything about writing techniques as I don't think I'm keen on turning something I enjoy into an educational process. But maybe I should practice at writing when I do FEEL something.

I think that's probably where I've gone wrong as I've always relied heavily on just being able to come up with ideas but then struggle to actually write them down.

Food for thought.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:52 AM   #4
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I love your answer, Moejoe.

I don't know anything about writing techniques as I don't think I'm keen on turning something I enjoy into an educational process. But maybe I should practice at writing when I do FEEL something.

I think that's probably where I've gone wrong as I've always relied heavily on just being able to come up with ideas but then struggle to actually write them down.

Food for thought.

Music does it for me every time I listen to The Shins or Mahler, or Jonny Cash and there's a story right there, with mood, emotion and everything else combined into one neat package. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not just a translator of songs
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:38 AM   #5
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I agree totally with Moejoe, though the process for me usually ends up as poetry.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:44 AM   #6
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My stories are rarely about things I experience, or will ever have the chance to experience (in most cases... thank God!). So, for me, I have to put myself in the character's shoes, imagine the situation from their character and perspective, and try to draw out the emotional reactions that character would experience in that situation. Then I let that guide my writing and descriptions appropriately.
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Old 11-19-2009, 01:49 PM   #7
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Oh, heck yeah! I've written with tears actually streaming down my cheeks a couple of times.

Not that I try to insert my own emotions into the story, but if I can't feel what I'm writing, my readers certainly can't.

And everything you think, feel, or do is grist for the writing mill. Even if you're writing things you'll never do, like explore Jupiter, those characters are, or should be, just as human as you are. So feel it, and write it. It'll make your writing better.

Although I'm not big on writing as therapy - I'd rather have a bit of distance and wisdom gained from my own experiences before I incorporate those feelings into a story.
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:49 PM   #8
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... Johnny Cash ...
Woot! Hooray for Johnny! Moejoe displays another example of his excellent musical taste ...
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:55 PM   #9
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Woot! Hooray for Johnny! Moejoe displays another example of his excellent musical taste ...
Johnny Cash is / was awesome in many many ways. As an inspiration for stories, he's hands down one of the best. Every song he ever sung was a story
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:06 PM   #10
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Hey MoeJoe great advice. I don't know much about writting butnu think when a writer uses his emotions his work tends to be more profound. Sometimes when I'm reading a work where the characters seem detached I wonder how engaged the writer UA
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:10 PM   #11
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I once had a reviewer tell me that my character wasn't strong enough in the situation she was in.
I said that was because the character was me. I'd like to tell you that if I have a murderer chasing me. A ghost in my apartment, and my brother-inlaw having the hots for me, I'd have charisma...I'd kick a$$, but I'm afraid, just like the character, it wasn't till my back was against the wall and the ones I loved were threatened, that I came out fighting like Rocky Balboa.


So I guess my moral would be that it made my character more like the rest of us...not some steroid-junkie pyschohero that we'd never really find in real life.
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:14 PM   #12
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Hey MoeJoe great advice. I don't know much about writting butnu think when a writer uses his emotions his work tends to be more profound. Sometimes when I'm reading a work where the characters seem detached I wonder how engaged the writer is in their writing

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