Monday, March 30, 2009

In the land of writing...

intentions are crucial to understanding. I am finding once again that my intentions are possibly exceedingly hard for me to convey, especially when I don't know how my message is coming across. For example, I wrote a protagonist in such a way that my readers legitimately did not see what I saw; they saw him as a bad guy, which is interesting but disturbing, because I certainly did not intend for him to be perceived that way. Then this whole huge discussion ensued about what is a hero and what is an anti-hero, and I found myself getting really annoyed with one of my discussion groups, because my character was misunderstood. 

Which has lead me to the realisation that I myself can easily convey my feelings and my persona incorrectly. Think about it: if your medium is limited to the textual realm, the possibility for others to completely misunderstand what is in your mind and your heart is high. My character, inaccurately written, conveys his emotions and his reality badly. I do the same when I do not say what I am feeling or thinking for fear of saying too much. 

Apparently, this fear of saying too much is something my protagonist and I share. I didn't realise that until today, because overnight I was doing a lot of rewriting of chapter one, and began to see that the protagonist holds back a lot, and so do I. For what purpose? Certainly not to obfuscate or lead others astray, but mostly as a defense mechanism against pain, against making mistakes, against my own stupidity. How often have you said precisely the wrong thing that lands you into hot water? It makes you unwilling to ever utter another wrong or incorrect word, since words seem so easy to misconstrue. 

I need to find a way to express my own, and my character's emotions more clearly. He and I are both getting bogged down and it sounds like we're lying or we're insincere when nothing could be further from the truth.

1 comment:

  1. If I may add my sympathy to this: Blanche and I also suffer from this. What we see as clear as glass on this side of the fence doesn't always translate so well on the other side.

    You know what works well for some people is sitting and stream writing thoughts and movements for the protagonist in a scene, then going back and cleaning up.

    It will come out, but the first time, you have to get it yanked out - like a bad tooth. *grin*


My Shelfari Bookshelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

How have you overcome writer's block?