Saturday, May 2, 2015

Well, I'm not a blogger, and thankfully, I learned at this year's Muse and Marketplace Conference (#Muse 15) -- that this is okay.  A year since the last post !

In my defense, ---  its because I've been writing, and not blogging..let me explain:

Another short story published - Sweet Crude, which I am proud of because it was not from direct experience like my first published short story "Shipmate" -- but from trying to have empathy and tactile experience with characters very different than me -- this is one of those milestones that I feel is on my way to becoming a "real writer" (btw - I do believe there truly no such term -- another #Muse15 learning -- quantifiable things like book sales does not define a writer - there are qualitative aspects of writing which are equally important -- writers are writers - no matter what has happened commercially)

Second - I also finished another draft of my big project - my novel.  The NYU writing class I took over last summer helped greatly in this  (thank you Elizabeth Tippens!) -- my head was so full of all of the mechanics of writing, I forget what draws most of us in -- the characters. And its these characters, with their flaws, desires, and obstacles, that draw us into the story and has us rooting for or against them.  Nothing else matters (Metallica had it right?)

well, except for setting, voice, rhythm, pacing, timing, the first twenty pages, the last give pages, the inciting incident, the climax, prologues and conclusions.....wait -- you see - forget all this ---write about Characters (thats a reminder to self).  Its about Lilly Brant - who so desperately wants to marry rich (House of Mirth, Edith Wharton), or Rabbit, and his search for meaning (Rabbit Run - John Updike), and for my beloved Frodo Baggins and his need to bring the ring to Mordor (it doesn't all have to be inner struggles does it - ).  Since where on about Characters and their wants, the ending of the story is not the BIG CRISES (think explosions, confrontations, noises, lots of energy), but at the point where the protagonist resolves their abstract desires and their concrete desires.

For this last example I turn to a film - the heart-wrenching indian film - Siddarth - about a man searching for his kidnapped son.  In a culminating scene, the father resolves his inner and outer struggles via a phone call to his own father. It was dramatic, and brilliantly scripted and  expertly shot.  Tears were flowing.

I guess finally, its about that last piece - - empathy.   I think there can be no greater reward for a writer than having the reader feel the same emotions as the character, when the stuff goes down like it does.

So, I'll do my best to keep posting, but you may want to also check out twitter - 140 characters of nonsense is a whole lot easier than entertaining, enlightening, interesting blog entires.


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