A-Z Challenge

20130404-105943.jpg is for Emotion. And…unless you’re Mr Spock or a Zombie we all have them; and indeed we can suffer because of them as well.

In stories and books, the author must have a certain degree of empathy with his character’s emotions. For example, if you’ve never felt the emotion of jealousy yourself, you’d probably find it difficult to show how your hero/heroine was feeling whilst in the throws of seething jealousy. But, if you’ve experienced it, you know about the uncontrollable rage when your lover waltzes off with someone else. Or your latest book has been rejected and you discover your rival has had his published…..and worse, it’s a best seller.

So you tell everyone you meet that the ex’s new love is a slut or a raging psychopath, or the rivals best seller has so many grammatical mistakes in it, you wonder how it was ever published. But you know none of these things are true. You’re jealous and it shows.

IAGO (Othello)
Oh, beware, my lord, of jealousy!
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.

As I said above…unless you’re Mr Spock, you’ve most probably experienced all the joys and miseries of love as well. Oh! The longing, the lack of appetite and the sleepless nights love brings in its wake. For the first few weeks, we cannot get enough of our beloved. But then, after a time those first passionate white-hot feelings and yearnings mellow into something much more bearable. Good job too, because we’d not be able to exist for long if it didn’t. We’d pine away whilst lying on a day bed like a Victorian miss or a character in a Bronté novel.

So you know how your character must be feeling then when he/she falls passionately in love with the boy/girl next door, the lady of questionable morals or the lad-about-town.
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Then it all goes wrong and you try to kid yourself you’re ok, but you’re not;

And I said unto Heart, how goes it?
And heart replied,
Right as a Ribstone Pippin,
But it lied. (Hilaire Belloc

Grief brings its own unique type of pain. It is perhaps one of the most appalling, unbearable and soul-shattering emotions a human being can experience. And like death, it is inevitable that we are, at some point in our lives, going to feel all the horrors grief brings.

We grieve when we lose someone or something we love. Either through death, lost love, illness or change of some kind. A house move, a change of some kind in a relationship, divorce and old age.

I remember how I felt when my much loved cat, Oscar died last year. His death was quite sudden and unexpected and my grief was so painful that I wanted to die. My tears were never ending, the pain of loss unbearable. I sat and sobbed and cried his name aloud, went to bed thinking of him, found brief respite in sleep and every morning the ache and misery started again.

But each day it became less painful and with time (the great healer) it faded; my tears dried up and my heart ache eased. I still miss my little fella but not with the pain of raw grief anymore.

But experiencing my own grief, I have been able to show the grief of William, Edward and Stephen in my stories. I know how they feel.

There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go. ~Author Unknown.


2 thoughts on “A-Z Challenge

  1. onlyfragments

    Although I certainly agree with this, I do think it’s possible to experience an emotion THROUGH a character that you yourself have never had cause to feel. It’s certainly that way with Tanim and Daren – though maybe they don’t count, since they’ve been ruling my life for almost eleven years now. But I’ve felt things through them I’ll probably never feel on my own in life (both the good and the bad).

  2. ED Martin

    I almost used emotion as my E-word. 🙂

    I agree with you, that as writers we draw upon our own experiences to make our characters come alive, but I think truly great writers go beyond that and have the empathy and skill to evoke feelings in their characters and readers that they’ve never really experienced.

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