Wednesday, September 7, 2011

When a Character is Complimentary to the Writer


“The women are not undressing you. It’s not seduction they feel. It’s the afterglow. They are imagining themselves laying in bed with you, their arms draped over you, deeply satisfied after a session of lovemaking. You are their cigarette and they want to take one more long drag of you before falling into a blissful sleep. That’s what your words do to them.”

Those are the words Donna McKnight shares with Ken Shea, a successful poet in my story, "Three Blinks and a Sigh". I read it again recently and I gotta say, this Ken Shea fellow is a lucky guy. Doesn't every writer want to know their words have some type of effect on the audience? And doesn't every male writer, either secretly or overtly hope to elicit a similar reaction from female readers? Or is that just me?

Every author wants to move their reader, and most began their passion for writing with some fantasy about how the power of their finely crafted words would rock some one's world - if not the entire world. 

Interesting to contemplate:

What got you into writing in the first place? (probably a guy or a girl)

What kept you writing? (probably accolades or the promise of some)

What keeps you from writing? (yourself, but you can blame anyone you want. No one cares if you write or not)

And what drives you to write again? (probably that last statement because it may have pissed you off and you'll be motivated to write just to prove me wrong but by doing so you will have proved me right)

I think the writer who doesn't care what others think of their writing is either, only writing in their journal, or have reached a level of financial or emotional success that gives them the liberty to let it hang out there.

Now, of course I care what people think of my writing, I haven't reached that level of emotional success yet. Caring about the readers opinion is wise, but that doesn't mean you have to change, you may just need to find different readers.

This blog is a different outpost for me. It's tone is different from what my friends and family call my "business writing". Here I give myself the freedom to ramble my thoughts across the screen when I should be in bed catching up on sleep.

As a business writer it's nice to get feedback on your perspective of a particular belief or product. As a creative writer, it's also nice, and scary, because in poetry and prose, the writer is likely to leave a little more of themselves on the page. 

It's akin to when the fourth wall comes down in television. The writer sometimes encourages a character to gently compliment the writer because of their deep rooted and irrational fear that it may be the only one who does.