Monday, May 22, 2017

Write Stuff (part 1) - Give them Hope

Auschwitz - Rose left on a stone/

 A rose left at Auschwitz. 

A picture is worth a thousand words. As the rose above symbolizes hope in the dark pit of despair. And it's hope that makes or breaks the story.

End of April, I attended the Pikes Peak Writers Conference in Colorado Springs. One of the prequel workshops I attended was  The Emotional Craft of Fiction. Bringing emotion into our novels.

The author, Donald Maass facilitated the workshop. He started by stating that he saw more emotion in the short ads of last Superbowl than many of the manuscripts he was reviewing at the time.

Here is one such example from Superbowl Ad 2017, a 60 second beer ad, which may be what he was talking about:

The workshop was intense. And I would do it again. But in this short post, I can only convey a key point .

As in any writing, there are many ways and styles. No right or wrong way. The attendees spent the day exploring that. But in the end, the reader is sovereign.

Yet the mark of good fiction is that it changes us, the reader. And we care about the characters on the journey. We make an emotional connection with them. Their journey is our journey. Their struggles are our struggles. It becomes part of our long term memory.

What came to mind was the running theme in The Lord of the Rings movies. That emotional connection with the struggle is why this is my favorite scene.

In destroying the ring, Sam's impossible quest is our quest. His struggle is our struggle. As he sums it up:  There is some good in this world...And it's worth fighting for.

And to sum up the workshop in three words, what the author must do for the reader is...

Give them hope.

And so with hope, I start of another thread.

Write Stuff.

Our journey as writers is making the stuff to connect. And it's worth writing for!


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Photo from: Auschwitz - Rose left on a stone/