Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dissecting Soap-Bubbles

Analysing one’s own emotions - trying to put them into words - can be like using a scalpel to dissect soap-bubbles. Trying to label a feeling is a sure fire way of destroying it.

Writers don’t generally describe feelings. Instead they describe emotional situations and rely on their readers ability to interpret those situations in the intended way. The writer still has to understand the emotion that they are trying to evoke. They have to understand the essence of the emotion and its causes.

Good emotionally evocative writing doesn’t happen by accident; it takes time and often requires the writer to delve deep within themself. The process of writing this kind of prose can force a writer perilously close to the point at which they might be tempted to minimise and label their own feelings.

For some writers, trying to capture emotion in their work, particularly a negative emotion, might lead them to truly feeling that emotion for the first time. The process of writing in this way can be fraught; but it can also be cathartic and therapeutic; it can lead to self-knowledge.

Perhaps it is something everyone should attempt.

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