Monday, May 25, 2009

A Writer's Holiday

Today is a holiday. A long awaited day off work. We'll remember those who served our country and love ones that went to their eternal glory before us. Perhaps your decorating graves, attending a parades or flag dedication, preparing food for festive picnics, putting your writer's note pad in a pocket or purse...WHAT? It's a holiday...not for a writer

A recent online course taught by a well published author revealed that many writer's don't pepper their stories with enough emotions. Today is a day that many wear their feelings on their sleeves. However your celebrating today will provide many emotional scenarios you may want to jot down to use in your writing. If you're decorating a grave, watch the other people around. Some people are comfortable in a cemetary, they'll touch the stone, brush their fingers over the name, other's may be nervous placing the flower's haphazardly on the grave and standing a few feet away while darting their eyes from the headstone to others in the area. Would either of those actions fit your hero or heroine?

A parade shows a mixture of emotions, glee from children as they catch thrown candy, laughter as neighbors visit, pride as the flag or a loved one marchs by, respect as hats are removed. A young person may view the flag with an entirely different emotion than a WWII Veteran. Actually a WWII Veteran may feel differently about serving his country that a Vietnam Veteran.

A picnic, whether with family or friends has many opportunities to jot down emotional reactions. Watch the new couple in love. how her cheeks flush when they touch, a secret look or signal they give each other. Do they smile at the mention of the others name? When a game of soft ball or volley ball starts, is everyone a good sport? Who teases and does that teasing set well? The least likely person may be the most competative and take the game seriously. Do they shake their head in digust or tell the others to get their heads in the game when they mess up? Then there is always someone going through a rough patch. Does the couple sit apart? Do they avoid the "how are you doing" questions or do they give a practiced answer while their eyes tear up or they cast their gaze downward?

Enjoy your holiday but don't forget that writer's notebook, you may run across an emotion that will give your WIP that extra something!



Sandra Cox said...

Good blog and good ideas, Kel.

Rose said...


Cami Checketts said...

Great ideas. I hate to admit this, but I rarely carry my writer's notebook. I'll make sure to put a new one in my purse! Thanks,

Rose said...


Recently, I was on a research trip and took time out to eat dinner with my husband, leaving all my writing "stuff" in the motel...I ended up writing an idea on a paper napkin, while my husband just shook his head!


Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Wonderful post, Rose and great advice. A writer should never be without paper or pen :-)


Donna B said...

Writer's notebook? Oh that thing that I keep in a bag that's never with me...those scraps of paper work just as well, as long as I don't lose them. LOL (Actually that's only happened once.)
Seriously, thank you for the article. Emotion is truly key and where else to get hints than from what goes on around us.
I'll keep my eyes open.

Rose said...

Thanks, Pam!

Rose said...

Yes, Donna, any scrap of paper will work but they are easier to lose. I always stick them in my check book!