I guess at my age one should be wise enough to know that not everyone see the world through the same pair of eyes. Living in a small English village, it is easy to forget that in some parts of the world other people know what real suffering is all about as their lives are pulled apart by war and conflict.
As writers, we are told our stories need to have some sort of conflict in them to make them worth reading. Our characters must over come some kind of problem to grow as a person by the end of it.
Having never lived through a war or unrest in my country I can only use my imagination. Though, like most people even if we have never lived in a war zone, we have suffered a different kind of emotional conflict in our lifetime.
Emotions are what is suppose to separate us from animals. I feel this statement is wrong as I’m sure animals feel and understand raw emotions far more than we ever will in our safe environment while they watch helplessly as we destroy their homes and freedom to fulfil our own needs. Emotions are, as we all know, powerful things, love, trust, hate, sadness, jealousy etc.
To be able to write these powerful feelings into your work in such a way that your reader physically feels them means as a writer you’re doing your job.
Whether your character is a man, woman, child or even an animal you must draw on all your emotions to bring them alive, to make them rounded individual who laugh, cry, think and feel. Put yourself in their shoes, claws or paws. Think hard about how you would face the problems by looking through their eyes.
If by the end of your story you’re crying, laughing or feeling raw emotions then you maybe half way there, but the real test is getting someone else (other than family or close friends who will only tell you what they think you want to hear because they don’t want to hurt your feelings) to read your work, and feel the emotions you have written.
It’s not an easy task and will take a lot of practice to get it just right, but as humans we have the vocabulary and the experience within our lives to draw on, without having to live in a war zone.
Have a great day writing, and remember no experience is wasted if you are a writer.
Paula R C