Archive for March 3rd, 2010

Writer’s Wisdom 70

Balancing emotions

Emotions are everywhere, there is no way to escape them.  From the very happy cashier to the very upset man next to you in traffic, from the time you wake up till the time you go to rest – even in your sleep, while having some very emotionally charged dreams.  So, if emotions are all around you, why wouldn’t they be part of your writing?

When writing a piece, pay special attention to the emotions of the characters.  Emotions should match the situation, and the character type.  It would be weird to have a character that just suffered a heartbreaking loss, be worried about triviality (just to continue the story) – unless it is done on purpose to stress the unusual personality of this character or the particular way to cope with trauma.  Such is the case of the serial killer experiencing ecstasy while murdering someone.  It is all a balancing act.  When you balance emotions in a piece of writing, it helps the natural flow of the story.

The question is, can you use emotion to dictate the story?  Some pieces of flash fiction are a very good example of this.  It starts with an emotion and the emotion develops the story to the end.  Do a little experiment; when writing your next piece, pay special attention to what the characters are feeling and see how it is relating to the flow of the story.

Flipping the Switch

Starting to live a simple life has not been easy.  Mostly, because it has been a slow process and one that has been the result of some good and not so good events.  It has been ticking, and finally the pieces are starting to fall in place, slowly, one by one.  It is a process of shedding, not only the material, but of the feelings attached to those material things.  It’s been a time to shed emotions, and of retrospection; a time of discovery, and of realization.  It has also been a time to do just the opposite of what had been expected and go against the current, of letting go.  That has been the spiritual side of it, although the material part has had its own challenges.  

Once you see the material for what it is, it becomes less important, little by little, step by step.  What used to be hard to get rid of, one day becomes easy, the feelings attached are still there, but you realize that the feelings will always be there, and they don’t need the physicality of an object to be brought to memory.  Most of it is crap, from shoppaholic days, or the result of some old empty void being filled at the time.  Once acknowledged, it is free to let go, and so is all the stuff that goes with it.

There are catalysts in our lives that act as switches, to turn us on to achieve our next level as evolving human and spiritual beings.  These catalysts can take the form of persons (even the ones that may hurt you), events, and things.  So however we have arrived to the start of living a simple life – I thank the persons (good and bad), the events, and the things, which have made it possible.  

Once the switch has been flipped, the rest of our life – the simple life – follows.

Flip the Switch