Thursday, April 27, 2006

Emotion - How many ways can one person smile?


I'm going to keep this short and sweet today :-) But there is homework (And YES I expect you to do it PC. Instigator sticks her tongue out in anticipation of the response she will get).

As everyone who'll listen knows, I'm in the middle of reworking my current WIP. I'm paying specific attention to writing my character's emotions in a new and interesting way. I'm trying very hard to leave out any and all cliches (assuming I can spot them :-) and trying to use my own unique voice, perspective and the characters to write things in a different way.

I hope I'm succeeding because I think if I do it will be a major hurdle for me as a writer - ranking right up there with learning conflict and motivation.

So here's my question and your homework :-) If you're a writer - how do you infuse emotion into your books in a unique way? Do you have a specific passage that you're particularly proud of? That you worked exceptionally hard to achieve that perfect description/inflection/reaction?

And if you're a reader - do you notice when something is written or described in a unique way? Do those sorts of things jump out of the book at you? If so can you share something that might have caught your attention and why you felt it was unique?

Instigator - shamelessly picking everyone's brain for personal research :-) Thanks for helping!!

6 comments:

Problem Child said...

Sorry, no comment on my blog entry Tuesday...ain't no way you're gettin' homework out of me today...

She smiles evilly, no evily, no, dang it, meanly.

BWAHAHAHA

Playground Monitor said...

One writer I love tends to use phrases that reflect her Texas background. For example, she had a heroine who was redheaded and freckled. She wrote "My dad used to say I got those from swallowing a quarter and breaking out in pennies." Same author also wrote in another book that it was so quiet you could hear a fly spit.

I wrote this a couple years ago and thought it was pretty descriptive and set the mood: Rain beat a staccato rhythm against the picture windows in the living room-- a rhythm that was syncopated against the tick-tock of a large grandfather clock in the corner. Loud rolls of thunder vibrated through the heavens, punctuated by dazzling bolts of lightning that illuminated the room. Strong winds whistled down the street, funneling their fury between the buildings as if in a wind tunnel. And as they gusted, a tree branch added a persistent scraping to the percussion section of the ethereal orchestra over which Mother Nature presided as maestro.

The mood for what, you ask? Belle wasn’t quite sure when she became aware of the pressure against her hip. Her senses flickered and sparked, dazzling and jagged like the lightning outside. She ran her fingers down Sam’s arm and let them take a ninety-degree turn to dance across his chest. Then taking a second sharp turn, she traced the fine line of hair that bisected his abdomen below the navel, barely resisting the urge to sing “Happy Trails.”

I don't know how I infuse emotion. It either happens or it doesn't. *shrugs* I know that's not a lot of help.

PM

Smarty Pants said...

Emotion...well, I have trouble with that. (No comments from the peanut gallery.) Sarcasm pours out of me like a hose on full blast, but its hard for me to turn it off and get serious. I guess that's how I make my emotions unique to me. They've always got my weird world view tied to them.

I'm trying to find an example, but alas, its too early. Maybe later.

SP

Smarty Pants said...

Hmm... how about this?

Liam’s fangs came down as the fury he spent so much time suppressing began to flow freely. The surge of anger started in the pit of his stomach then burst from him in one sudden, powerful motion. The lid of his crate splintered into pieces as he leapt from it and landed on the ground beside it.

Crouched down in a pose ready to pounce on the first person that moved, Liam hissed and the two men took a large step back from Quinn’s crate. Their eyes grew wide as saucers as Liam arose to his full six-foot-five-inch height and bared his large, ivory teeth.

“I said, don’t touch her,” he growled, his heavy breath ragged with rage.


SP

Smarty Pants said...

So, was my version of emotion so powerful, no one wanted to post after it or so awful everyone ran away??

SP

Instigator said...

Your version was wonderful! I love Liam.

I've actually been playing catch up today. I'm going to have the office to myself tomorrow (if you don't count Baby Girl but I'm used to multitasking with her there) so I'm hoping to get quite a bit done on my book. Sigh. The pressure is finally starting to lift.

Instigator