You may be wondering what reaching is, or what type of reaching I'm talking about.
Reaching for the stars?
Reaching our readers?
Reaching for that bit of chocolate? ;)
Actually, I'm thinking about reaching deep within. Ourselves. And using what we know to make our writing the best it can be.
LDS author Heather Moore recently did an INTERVIEW where she discussed putting emotion into your writing. And while Heather is, of course, spot on, I just wanted to add a little bit of my own experience and observation.
Writing a story is a relatively simple process. We've been doing it since grammar school. But, writing a story--especially a novel-length story--that keeps your readers hooked, invested, and interested from chapter to chapter can be daunting. But, I submit, it's something ALL of us can do. We are writers. This is what we chose (one could argue it chose us). We CAN do this.
Each of us has experienced intense emotion in our own lives, even though our lives are different and these emotions were brought about by different happenings. But if I asked you to recall a time when you were absolutely devastated, I bet you could. Or a time when you were so happy words failed you. Or a time--even from childhood--where you can remember being so scared it defied logic.
Your characters don't have to have the same experiences you did to bring about this or that emotion, but you can reach within and bring out that particular feeling that can then be conveyed to your reader through your words. We can be powerful writers. No, we won't affect every reader the same way, but if you lace your writing with powerful emotion, you will bring about a response. I'm not going to say that's always easy. Currently, one of my works in progress involves reliving some really difficult feelings from my past, things that I have long put behind me. Odd how they're still there to be called up as needed, though.
Remember, There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith