Monday, September 27, 2010

I was Once a Man on Fire

Hello Reader!  So I used to believe that in order to write well, I had to be in a state of emotional disarray.  My feelings had to be hurt in order to put down on paper the story I wish to tell.  Then, my mind changed and I was pretty positive that all you need is focus and a clear heading.  Questions like how much pain am I in and how best do I deal with this new heartbreak were replaced with how many times should Amar smile or grimace and in which chapter should I deal with the mafia?

Well, that's changed again.  No, I'm not going to detail how that's changed.  Too personal for a blog entry.  But I will try to detail what changed.  I think, and this is just conjecture based on opinion based on random spasms of thought, I think that in order to write well you must have experienced some kind of pain or trauma.  From there on out, every time you write you should be able to access that well of pain and trauma.  This in order for the emotionality and presence of your characters to be authentic and clear, without the murkiness that overthinking or condescension can bring.

What does that mean in laymen's terms?  It means I have to reach deep into the pit of pain where I've buried all of my past misdeeds and heartbreak, so that when I detail the decaying relationship between Tory Cross and his brother my writing won't devolve into a series of arguments.  Rather, tense moments will punctuate the superficial niceties that exist between all warring siblings.  At least, that's what I feel is authentic.  Comment, critique, suggest me about it in the comments below.

Seems foolproof doesn't it?  I don't have to be in a constant state of self-hate or self-pity, and I can still write well!  But if I keep reaching into that wellspring where I've buried every harm done by and to me, won't I risk something?  My soul, sanity, whatever?  We've all seen it happen.  How many authors kill themselves, or become dependent on some kind of drug?  I'm not even talking about Hemingway or Hunter S. Thompson.  I'm talking about normal folks who get fed up with their lives, express it in writing, then let their brains fade away into oblivion.

I don't want to be a vegetable!  I have my whole life to live, and I'm generally a happy person!  Or am I being a little too melodramatic?  I mean come on, I'm 20 years old, how many traumatic experiences could I have?  Right?  Totally...anyways the book itself is supposed to be a mode of catharsis for me.  I don't want it to bring me down.  Hell, maybe this style of writing - reaching into the pit of past experiences to drudge up authentic emotions, may not actually bring me to my knees.

I'm at the point where I don't want to self-analyze anymore.  Being the son of a therapist has given quite a bit of intuition.  I thank you everyday for that Mom.  But power of psychoanalysis are meant only for Degrassi teenagers.  I try my best to stay away from that.  Who knows what this new tool for authenticity will do for me.  Will it even work?  I gotta go figure that out myself.  Enough talking about it.  Just do it.

Look to your left.  Maybe scroll up a little.  Actually, scroll up to the top.  Keep looking to your left.  See the box labeled Pages?  I've removed one of the Pages that was there before - List of Chapters - and replaced it with a new one: Links to Excerpts.  The new Page is exactly what the title says it is.  A link to all of the Excerpts I've posted on this blog from my current novel: Dramatis Personae.  Please comment, critique, and suggest as you read the excerpts - if you read them - and don't be afraid of harsh criticism.  Until next time then.

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