Monday, January 25, 2010

The Whole Story

A little after nine last night I look up from my television when I hear what can only be gunfire.

A single shout drifts through my usually quiet neighborhood, a single shout that swells, multiplies, grows into a cacophany of yelling. Car horns break up the screaming. The sky is on fire. Dogs are barking, and I hear the sound of church bells punctuated by more gunfire.

It sounds like the end of the world.

Unless you know the context.

Maybe you don't follow football, but--

The SAINTS are in the SUPERBOWL, baby!

When the game ended, the whole city erupted into celebration, that, at first glance, sounded almost threatening, maybe even apocalyptic if you've never been to New Orleans when something happens worth celebrating.

That made me think of my writing in an interesting way. Part of the reason our own writing seems so alive to us, is that we're seeing the whole story when we write, and read the words back to ourselves. The words have extra meaning to us because we associate them with pictures in our heads and moods that we're feeling. Moods that we may not be translating properly to the written word. Moods the reader may not be experiencing.

This is something I'm going to keep in mind next time I sit to write. Something I should know already, but I've never really been able to put into words before. Hopefully, my own revelations might help others, but this post will serve as a reminder for me. Just another writing resolution I'm going to try my darnedest to keep!

Had any good writing resolutions of your own, lately?


Voidwalker said...

I don't do resolutions, but I do have goals to finish my novel before my birthday in September. Maybe it'll happen, maybe not, but we'll see.

As for relaying moods, I agree. It can be hard to put all of the passion we have for our story, onto the page. It's difficult because we thrive on back story, history and information that maybe only we as authors are privy to.

Tamika: said...

That was a stellar game! Congratulations Saints!

My writing is in full swing and that's all the resolution I need.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

It was fireworks in my neighborhood. :)

Lisa and Laura said...

Loved how you set this post up! And you wrote this one for us. We talk about our stories so much together that we sometimes expect readers to know information that we forget to share with them! Writing is such a learning experience.

L.T. Elliot said...

That's an AWESOME description, btw. My writing resolutions are to work on my sense of setting. I suck at setting. *Sigh*

Tere Kirkland said...

V- Good luck finishing up before then. It's all about finding the time, and you my friend are a much busier man than I. ;) Are you a Libra or a Virgo? I'm hoping Libra, so you can get a few more weeks to work.

Tamika, full swing sounds good to me. I think I'll work on getting myself that kind of attitude. Thanks!

Caro, maybe I should evacuate to your place for the Superbowl. ;) eep. Enjoy the big game!
Making anything delicious?

LiLa, I swear this is my biggest problem. I think I'm telling the story in my head, but I'm not. But ya know, from my *mrphrle* years reading writing forums and blogs, I think that might be almost everyone's problem. I guess this is just a testament to the importance of betas.

L.T., I have the opposite. I have trouble with character, but the setting just weaves itself in naturally. I've been trying to work on making my setting descriptions more tied to what characters are doing in a meaningful way. I guess the proof will be in the pudding of these new projects I've got going. Maybe you could try the opposite. :)

Elana Johnson said...

Wow. I love "the sky is on fire." I'm so borrowing that for my book. Wait. I might already have used it. It's a great, great line.

Go Saints!

jessjordan said...

Wow. Lovely set up for your post!

Krispy said...

Love the great descriptive set-up for this post. And you make a great point besides. ;)

Congrats to the Saints.

Angie Ledbetter said...

I let go of hard and fast resolutions years ago. (One of the few good things about getting old.) :)

WHO DAT?!!!!

Corey Schwartz said...

Brilliant post. I'm in NJ where the mood was less than stellar :)