Life has a great way of crapping on you sometimes. I have to admit, I’ve lived a rich life in my (only) 30 years. I’ve had a lot of experiences, and there are things that I still want to experience, and plan to experience.
Even when life craps on me, I try to keep my chin up, my attitude positive, and a smile on my face, even if it is fake. I have learned to put on a happy face and save the tears for when I’m at home.
This can be rather difficult at times. Especially if the crap is excessively large.
I didn’t start this blog to write about personal junk, but I do want to write about how I use my extreme emotions to fuel my writing. How, in the face of these extreme emotions, I can sit down and write for pages straight. The fingers fly across the keyboard. The words appear out of thin air. I usually don’t even know WHAT I’m writing, but I know it is good because it is fueled by emotional fire.
When you’re sad, or super angry all you can do is stomp around and grit your teeth and clench your fists, or ecstatic beyond all happiness, write down how your body feels. What physiological affects does the emotion have on you? Harness the energy, the feelings, and use them in your scenes. When your point of view character is feeling an extreme emotion, go to your emotion log and use the physiological responses your body had, and give them to your character. Readers can relate to those reactions. They recognize that, yes, my heart does pound out of control when I’m mad. My nose does sting or tickle, or my throat does tighten when I’m about to cry or holding back tears.
Margie Lawson, a psychologist and kinesic expert, calls these visceral responses. You can learn all about them in her courses or lecture packets on her website.
That’s all I will say about physiological, or visceral responses. Margie can teach you far more than I can!
Keep on Swimming (and writing!),
Claire L. Fishback