Thursday, January 20, 2011

Deal with the Devil

By Susan G. Haws

Have you ever been just about ready to make a deal with the Devil?  Have you ever said to yourself, hey, I probably wasn't going to make it anyway so if _________ and __________ happen it might be worth frying in the deep, deep South for eternity?  Come on down ( Should I say up?) big guy and let's dicker.  What kept you from dialing 1-555-burn?

Have you ever felt so frustrated you just had to break or crush something?  Did you do it?  Did you clean it up quick  wondering what came over you?  Did you set it back down carefully and go for a jog?

Did you ever feel so joyous you could just shout to the world or rent a billboard?  What did you do?

Did you ever feel right on the razor edge where just one breath wrong would push you over a desperate cliff?  What kept you from doing something drastic?

How deep are our characters, an emotional tea cup or the ocean? How high will they reach, a step stool or Mt. Everest? To what depths will they sink; shouting or murder?

I think as writers we have to draw on all the emotions, the positive and the negative and remember that both our protagonist and antagonist experiences a full spectrum of emotions.   The differences are what triggers the happiness, rage, and depression; then, the key is the choices the characters make to cope with  situations and achieve their aspirations.  We can draw on emotions we know to make our characters believable even if their situation or choices don't match our own.




6 comments:

  1. There are lots of questions to ponder here, Susan. Thanks for an intriguing post.

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  2. Each time I prepare to perform my musical "One Heart One Purpose" about the life of Christ, or write an inspirational song I have to fight the adversary and get passed the negativity. Once I tell him out loud "Your not going to win!!!!!" then he finally leaves me to my work. I can always tell when something I write, or compose is going to touch peoples lives because he is right there to thwart my work. So actually he does me a favor in a way letting me know that I have something valuable! That's how I like to look at his advances as a "Meter Reader" so to speak! :)

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  3. Felt them all Susan and twice in my life gave in to an impulse to throw or slam something. Neither made me feel particularly good although it certainly impressed the people around me. Apparently acting out of character now and again is a good attention getter.

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  4. Thank you Marsha, Shauna,and Terri for your comments it is nice to know that other people get these feelings too and have learned to channel them to help you best.

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  5. Great questions Susan. I'm sorry to say I have given in to a few of those impulses. It rarely, if ever helped. On the other hand, when I overcame them, I was left with a greater feeling of self-worth and insight into the situation. Hopefully I will use those experiences to enhance my own writing.

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  6. Great post, Susan! I love the graphic at the beginning, too. And I also love your point about how different things trigger different characters, well, differently. Lots to think about.

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