I couldn’t have been luckier than yesterday at this lecture for writers.
Fear is something that all creative people face in terms of their work.
Yesterday during the lecture I was able to lose some of that! I’m serious.
It is so hard being a writer, and yet, after a certain point in life you want to try and leave something behind that is good.
November is coming up again soon and this year I am going to try and write The Seaheart at the same furious pace I wrote Heart of Clouds.
I just really feel the need to shed fear this year because I can’t live in this state much longer without control over my own life and destiny.
The lecture was on deep story and how that changes the audience by identifying with certain characters. What one writes is going to be perceived differently by the audience depending on who is resonating with what?
I learned that yesterday.
There was a moment when I was writing Heart of Clouds where I had to take the character of the mother to a terrible place of no return — that was the hardest part to write. But, yesterday, that was part of the crux of the lecture. It’s from those places that the writer has the ability to bring the audience back out? It was intuitive on my part because I had to have my character Teenie save her mother.
That piece came from deep childhood for me. Yesterday listening to this screenwriter teach made me realize that writers are in this special club together — there is a ton of pain in that club too, that we have to get over. Often this goes way, way back. I used to find myself in that position as a little girl a lot. With my mother. Having to save her from something.
So the fear, which is huge, is “what if this isn’t good enough?”
“You just have to know what you are doing is right.”
When I heard that I felt better. I really did.
The interventions I am going to be able to make with these characters are “right.”
So, faces fear, thinks about November, and orders the manuscript to send. I’ve been so scared about that. I really have. I don’t want to be.
All I can do is try?
What he taught us is that the writer has to let go of something in order for it to be real for the audience. I looked at his chart and saw the plunge where the shift happens and I think I did that. Certainly the shift did plunge the reader into the central crux and it was scary. I think Heart of Clouds is about love and strength.
“It helps to have a tall guy with white hair in the story,” he laughed.
Well, Heart of Clouds has two! Devlin’s grandfather and Mr. Honeygarten. Both of them encompass all the really great men that were in my own life as a child. Little bits and fragments. The sort of intervention I made in the book was about love? The importance of that, and memory.
Trying to be less timid, myself, going forth starting today.