Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fear and honesty in Las Writing

For Erica it comes down to shedding fear. For me it means embracing honesty. I think we’re probably talking about the same thing.

Being true to yourself on the page.

To a certain extent, this is also being true to your voice. I agree with Erica, and I think she revealed something particularly interesting when she pointed out our themes are as much a part of our voice as the way we put words together. But I digress.

Fear and honesty. In my real life (as opposed to the fantasy life I dwell in when writing) I avoid conflict. Can’t stand it.

This is such bad news for my writing.

I’m uncomfortable with conflict, I don’t relish suspense, and so I tend to smooth the way for my characters. I tell you, fictional people never had it so good.

Drama – story – is about conflict. Without conflict there is no suspense, no interest, no damn story.

Honesty in writing means whenever I find myself shying away from something – a character set back, a sexual encounter, simply a painfully emotional scene – it’s a warning to me I’m about to duck out on something important. Something vital to the heart and power of the story.

What you write about, and how you reveal it to the reader, is just as much a part of your voice as the words you choose. Yes, and the themes that haunt you.

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