Monday, January 5, 2009

Strong Emotions

The very best deep POV experiences are . . . well, deep.

Gene Fowler said, "Writing is easy. All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead."

That blood on the forehead? It's the first step of deep POV. Terrible, but true. Deep POV requires turning yourself inside out, exposing raw nerves and deep wounds. Self-censorship is a killer when the story calls for something emotional.

When I used to write a taut scene, I blocked emotions and whisked through it, laying down the bare bones and calling it done. I trusted that readers would understand, and get what I meant without any superfluous words.

And then, in addition to my critique partners pushing for more, I started studying the writers I love. They don't use flowery, purple prose, but they do take each thought, each emotion, step by step. One word at a time. They draw out and prolong the incredible fear, or the ripping loss.

It's become easier now to fall into deep POV. I've learned I'll survive. But initially, I had to say a prayer and consciously move deeper into my own blocked psyche. I've come to consider it a wonderful kind of therapy—and it's free.

Balance is important. As much as I need fresh, sweet air, so do my readers. But I never let them catch their breaths for long . . .

And since it's the beginning of the year:

Goals can be energizing—when you win. But a vision is more powerful than a goal. A vision is enlivening, it's spirit-giving, it's the guiding force behind all great human endeavors. Vision is about shared energy, a sense of awe, a sense of possibility. ~ Benjamin Zander, Conductor, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra

Currently reading: I think I'll start the new Koontz tonight. I deserve it. Oh yeah, and a nice hot bath. Yeah.

Working On: Learning about this wonderful writing program for Macs . . . Scrivener. I think I could be falling in love.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Peg, I love that quote about vision at the end. Something to think about...

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts on deep POV, it is something I am currently working on, going deeper. I love reading about it!