Sunday, 14 November 2010

Writing whatever the mood........

An interesting moment dawned on me yesterday. a Sunday that felt a bit of a struggle with interuptions and going with other people's wishes and desires. The writing was in tune with the mood, unsure of direction and lacking in any energy. Avoidance became the easiest way - what is it about resistance that convinces us it holds sway? ( I feel it now tugging at me, censor yourself, rather than open up and write what's really here).

I joined a friend and her family for tea and after the delicious meal and laughter over the spaghetti, we stood either side of the kitchen counter and unravelled our Nanowrimo efforts. It was a brilliant moment of clarity when she said to me "Write about what you are feeling right now. Give it to one of your characters and incorporate it into the story." Genius! I suddenly felt the freedom in that. When I arrived home, a new character duly appeared in the guise of the prevailing emotion and began to share her part in the story, giving clues and openings to one of the main characters traits and behaviour. There are now several pieces of paper beside me on the bed with ideas, clues, reasons stories might be rejected and conversations needed between characters. (Dialogue is not my strongest point, though you might not believe it from the way I can natter!)

The nugget here is the permission. Permission to write from whatever we're feeling. From anger. From frustration. From the utter despair of having to clean up after an elderly pet for the second or third time that week. From the blockage or resistance. Because by giving our characters a dose of these very real feelings, they become whole and human too. They each hold parts of the jigsaw yet to be revealed to the story and to the reader. Isn't that a great gift of life? We all hold bits of the jigsaw and when we share these with each other, we help to spark a new way of thinking and being that adds colour and interest and helps to work out the challenges that go on around us. A gift for us and for our characters as they develop and share their lives.

As the frost paints the rooftops and the mist descends on this November morning, wishing you an inspiring and warm start to the week.
Much love, Ellie x

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