Emotional Rollercoaster by L.V. Gaudet

November has been a month of emotional rollercoaster.  Not just for me, but for the world.

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insanityLike a novel with no story, the growing insanity plaguing the world has climaxed with the terrorist attack in France.   The world is spurred to cry out both against it and at the world’s obliviousness to the terrorist atrocities being committed and ignored daily in other parts of the world by many different groups and individuals, all depending on where those cries are coming from.

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This has also caused a ripple effect of fear and hatred, growing with each wave, fed by ignorance and political agendas that have nothing to do with what’s really happening in the world and all about getting what is perceived as the popular vote or having their own voice heard.

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One side calls for the closing of the world’s or local borders to all outsiders.  The other side calls to embrace them, shelter them, and let them in.  Sorrow and fear live side by side, acceptance and hate.

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fearhateFear and hate spurs people to react in different ways.  The extremes in emotions on both sid
es cause more conflicts, turning neighbors and friends against each other.

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Good things that I should have been happy about and things that mattered to me this month are made small and unimportant compared to what others are dealing with somewhere else in the world.  Should I feel guilty for those small happiness’s?

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This post is not about what side of this debate I’m on.  It’s not really about this debate at all.

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It is about looking at humanity for what it is and using that to make your characters touch your readers.

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horrorHumanity is capable of the most outrageous of horrors, from the puppies cemented into a fish tank and left to die, to the world’s events.  The news every day is full of it.  Cold and cruel.  No horror writer can come up with horrors worse than humanity comes up with on their own.  But for all it appears on the surface, there is some driving force beneath it all.  Some series of events, combined with experiences, personality, strengths and weaknesses that drive each of these people to commit what they have done.

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Maybe this is what drives people to dark fiction and horror movies, the exploration and attempt to understand what makes people do such terrible things.

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Humanity is also capable of great feats of compassion, incredible strength of character, self-sacrifice, and amazing acts of courage and self-expression.

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As a writer, witnessing these real life events and people’s reactions to them has given me a deeper understanding of the incredible level of complexity that drives humanity and people as individuals.  Understanding the why of how that complexity works and what is behind it is something even the best psychologists and psychiatrists may not even be capable of.

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Pay attention to your own reactions and feelings to the things around you, in your own life and beyond, and you might get an understanding of how it might affect others.  How do those around you react?  Why do you think they respond that way?  Why do you?

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Getting the reader to relate to your characters, to love or hate them, feel for them, root for them or swear at them, is about how well you can relate to what might be going on in the minds of other people.

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Your characters need to be real, not just give the impression.  Make the reader forget they are fictional people.  What thoughts are going through their mind as they commit themselves to an action or inaction? Do they regret it before they start?  Are they blindly going forward without thought to the consequences?  And what about after?  How does it affect those around them?

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A character’s words and actions do not have to match what is inside them.  They don’t always for real life people.  People do what they think is expected of them far more than they do what they truly want to do.  Peer pressure, upbringing, expectations, culture, they all play a role in everyone’s actions and reactions.  So does fear of being called out by someone who does not agree, for right or wrong.

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Know your character’s culture, their upbringing, and the dynamics of the culture they are living in now.  Know their strengths and weaknesses.  Know how all this relates to real people and how other people may feel and respond in the same situation.

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Write your scenes, descriptions, and actions to resound with the reader.  Touch their five senses as they read.  Feel the body’s involuntary reactions, the wet of the rain, and the touch of the cold.  Feel the loneliness, despair, hope, and small sense of victory.  Feel what the reader feels.  Make the reader feel what you want them to feel.  Make them feel what your character feels.

.words have power
Words have an incredible power.  They can move people to both great and terrible things.  The impressionable person is changed for good or bad.  Opinions are changed.  Beliefs are reformed.  Make your reader evolve with the world and characters of your story.

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rollercoasterA story is ups and downs, highs and lows.  Envision the roller coaster, its peaks and valleys, the loops of rolling out of control, the thrill and fear and excitement.  The expectation.  Emotions, action and suspense surges, bringing the reader up.  A plateau.  Things level out, but the expectation hangs motionless in the air.  The reader knows it is coming, the peak, the biggest mountain before the frightening stomach-lurching drop to the deepest low.  But when?  Tease them with a smaller stomach-lurching drop followed by another rise to higher heights of tension.  When the ride ends, they should feel satisfied, fulfilled, yet just a little empty and yearning for more.

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The story that leaves the reader unchanged is the story that missed the mark.

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Where the Bodies Are is still available on various online retail sites while waiting for the changeover to the new publisher, Indigo Sea Press.

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Watch for The McAllister Farm to be released, hopefully some time in 2016.

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You can find my books both in paperback and various ebook formats at various online retailers, including these:

Amazon author page

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

McNally Robinson

 

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Filed under L.V. Gaudet, writing

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