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Welcome to my self-indulgent location for the stories (good and bad) that I can't prevent myself from writing. All comments and criticisms welcome. I post on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Where Do Your Emotions Come From?

Okay, so I was inspired by a comment from Amanda on my Real World Writing post from last week.  She wrote:

It's impossible to create a compelling piece of fiction without the real world. Even with fantasy, one HAS to write in real emotions and human issues. Too often, though, people look to other people's issues instead of their own.

Everything she wrote is 100% true (imho).  But the last sentence made me pause.  Why is it that people look so much beyond themselves to find emotions and stories and don't look inside?

I open this question up as a forum.  I have my own ideas, but I'm going to save them until later in the week.  Do you agree with Amanda?  Or do you think writers use more of themselves and less of everything around them?  Or do you think writers pull their ideas from thin air?

Inquiring minds and all that....

16 comments:

Clarissa Draper said...

That's a good question but I'm not sure I have the answer. I think, for myself, I draw from both but I haven't really analyzed it.

CD

Cold As Heaven said...

I agree with Amanda (and you). Maybe writers use more of themselves than the are willing to admit?

Cold As Heaven

BoraC said...

I use both but try to look outside the confinement of my own little mind. Sometimes other people's stories touch some place inside me and make me think: I want to write a story about that.

Jan Morrison said...

I use both but even when I'm 'borrowing from others' I'm feeling it through my own system of behaviours, speech and emotion...Jan Morrison

Summer Ross said...

I use both, but notice more comes from my inside emotions and then on other peices its how I would want the emotions to be like. Its hard to say emotions come from just one place, when every person feels things a different way and that is also something that would be used when in character, No two characters can feel exactly the same way. Good question. I think alot of it is most writers just write, analyzing how they got details, or the characters maybe but where the actual characters emotions come from, I don't think this is something at the front of a writers mind because they just go with the feeling...naturally.

Hart Johnson said...

I use SOME of mine, but the fact of the matter is, my OWN emotions would go better in a chick lit or a family drama and that sn't what I write. I write suspense, mystery... things I haven't experienced... (never randomly found a dead body, or even had a life threatening experience)--so I HAVE to extrapolate.

I have a YA series planned that will use a lot more real stuff. It's true the emotion is bigger. Though in my suspense stuff... even my Cozy, it isn't unheard of to sit there crying while I write. I figure if I can feel it as I write it, readers ought to feel it too.

LTM said...

excellent Q, Rosie! I've had a lot of strange and unexpected events in my life, and the hubs keeps telling me I need to mine those experiences and reactions for storylines... LTM: But I keep all that packed down into a tight little ball... :D no, it's coming out~

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Hi, Rosie! I saw your contest win at Sonshine Thoughts and came to say Congratulations!! :-)

Erica Woolridge said...

Great question! I think I'm paranoid of putting too much of myself into my writing, so I'm always using my friends for inspiration. They'll never know :p

Lynda Young said...

I think writers draw from a little of both -- from themselves and from the things they observe in others. I don't think they can solely rely on self, nor solely rely on outside sources.

Having said that however, they have to come to a point where they turn that mix into a cake made up of their own understanding to be able to translate it into story.

Donna Hole said...

I use it all. My stuff, my friends and family, strangers who tell me their stories, clients, what i see in the news. Anything that tugs at my heart, makes me feel - whatever I feel about it.

But it does get scary sometimes.

......dhole

j.leigh.bailey said...

I think that sometimes it's easier to use someone else's issues and emotions instead of your own because using your own means admitting to, exploring and defining your emotions/issues. Sometimes it's just easier to ignore or pretend that they don't exist. (or maybe it's just me, and I'm like the ostrich, burrying it's head in the sand...)

M.J. Nicholls said...

I think work is more powerful when emotions are shown in less obvious ways. Scenes we might see in real life don't cut it. We have to contrive strange or unique methods of emotional expression for our characters, otherwise you might as well just have a chat with your weepy aunt.

M.J. Nicholls said...
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M.J. Nicholls said...
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Amanda Sablan said...

I arrived a little too late, but wow, thank you for uh.. having me here. :D

I think it's simply because some people are afraid to be honest with themselves, but with time it may come to be less scary.

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