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QT Bloggage...

Time for the blog chain again, (if you've come from Terri's blog HI!) and this week's question was posed by Archy :

Some people argue that creative people need “angst” to produce good work. Do you? What emotions drive you as a writer? 

Oh how I heart me some angst.  My boys: emo.  Decorations in my writing room?  Dead roses, antique forgotten items that I felt sorry for and adopted.  My characters?  OH HOW THEY ANGST.  And to get there, I ride the wave.  I'm a firm believer that you've gotta get there, suffer for your art and embrace it.  Do you have to be sad to write a sad scene?  Do you have to be happy to write a happy scene?  Yes and no.  If you don't feel it, it's not going to come across on the page.  And if your readers don't feel it you are not doing your job.  This doesn't mean I walk around a sad little ball of Emo every day.  I keep a little flame aglow at all times...when I need to tap into that I throw on some angsty music and fan the fire.  Most times I'm a perfectly well adjusted adult.  Still, there's always a little angst in my life.  There's times like tonight, where I'm sitting here with my friend Morgan ANGSTING about what to put on this entry because it will be made of EPIC FAIL no matter what and listening to Hey Jude and H.I.M. and <enter angsty music here>.   Is it emotastic?  Sure.  Will I tap into it later and use it in a scene?  Possibly.  Must you angst to write?  First rule of writing...Write what you know. 

Q:  What emotions drive you as a writer? 

A:  EVERY.  SINGLE.  ONE.  As a writer you've gotta know how to use every item in your arsenal and use them correctly.  You need to be able to tap into how you felt at different moments and bring those feelings back to life.  Emotions are nothing more than tools in your toolbox.   You do this everyday in your normal life.  If your friend tells you she's pregnant, you instantly pick a tool.  Is this happy news?  Sad news?  You need to know the backstory to pick the right tool and you damn well BETTER have the skills TO pick the right one.  Hey, at least in writing there's editing :) 

Heather is up next...Check out her blog here.

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Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
carriejones
Nov. 8th, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC)
These are great answers, Leah. I feel like such a loser. I've never even heard of a blog chain.
leahclifford
Nov. 9th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
It was kinda something that was thought up on the Query Tracker forums (which are great even if you have an agent/published books :) ). I really like the concept of everyone's takes on a single question, and how different all of those takes are!
elanajohnson
Nov. 8th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
I love every one of your posts Leah. You always say the right thing. I especially liked how you said we pick emotions based on the situation. Sometimes it is sad news when your friend is pregnant and we do pick the right emotion for the situation. Great job! :D
leahclifford
Nov. 10th, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you're liking the posts!
hldyer
Nov. 8th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
You and your emo boys! *snort*

No editing IRL... you always crack me up, GG!
leahclifford
Nov. 10th, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
I do what I can!
libbyreed
Nov. 8th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
No need to angst any further over this post...it's GREAT! I totally agree with you about the full range of emotions driving you in your writing. I know they certainly do in mine. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. ... just like you said.

Abi

http://bloggingexperiments.wordpress.com
leahclifford
Nov. 10th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
lol thanks Abi :)
elknutswife
Nov. 8th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
I totally agree with Elana, I love your posts! And I loved this line "I keep a little flame aglow at all times...when I need to tap into that I throw on some angsty music and fan the fire." You are right, you should write what you know. You can fake it sometimes, but it is more powerful if you are describing an emotion you've actually felt before. :) Emotions are wonderful tools - and you are right...as writers, we need to know how to use 'em. Great post!!
leahclifford
Nov. 10th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
Thanks Elky! Glad you liked it!
katekquinn
Nov. 8th, 2008 05:45 pm (UTC)
Wow - as always, you immediately cut directly to the core of the question.

One thing that reading this post made me realize is that I'm not exactly sure what "Emo" means. In my mind I get the picture of a red little puppet who laughs a lot and refers to himself in the first person, but that is probably just because I have been watching too much Sesame Street with my son. Guessing from the context that you are using the word Emo - I am thinking it is kind of at the exact other end of the spectrum from Elmo. Right?
leahclifford
Nov. 10th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
ruthannereid
Nov. 8th, 2008 06:32 pm (UTC)
Heh... all emotions tend to feed into things, I find. I think for me that angst helps because it's a very focusing emotion. Tends to block out all the extra stuff running through one's head.
leahclifford
Nov. 10th, 2008 01:41 am (UTC)
That's a REALLY good point.
ruthannereid
Nov. 10th, 2008 01:41 am (UTC)
Thanks! *laughs* I'm glad it made sense. :D
leahclifford
Nov. 10th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)
Totally did. It'd make for an interesting post to talk about the other focusing emotions...
smua
Nov. 8th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
I like the idea of having a pilot light burning inside of you all the time to keep your writing going. That must make it easier to write every day.
leahclifford
Nov. 10th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
lol only some days :)
marylindsey
Nov. 10th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
Yours is my favorite post on this topic so far. You are SO right. You should have been an actress, Leah. You've got Method Acting nailed.
queen_obscure
Nov. 10th, 2008 06:01 am (UTC)
I'm extremely partial to your post too, GG! So many great lines! And it sounds like your poor angsting characters and my poor angsting characters could swap war stories...
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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