Posts Tagged ‘John Milton’

Sometimes books make me cry. It might be the subject, the content, the characterisation – but whatever it is I have an emotional response.

If I want a reader to have that reaction to my book, I have to feel the same way: I have to have an emotional reaction when I write.

Writing a strong scene is gut-wrenching. If you are putting your characters through a painful experience, it’s as though you’re forcing someone you care about to face those experiences – after all, you made those characters, you defined them, you built them from your mind and formed them with your words. Why wouldn’t you care?

Other writers will tell you the same: in my mind we have to care, because if we don’t why would anyone else?

We writers have to be careful though; we cannot weaken in our resolve because we love our characters.  We can’t make their lives free from conflict, pain, humiliation, strife any more than we would want to strip them of love, comfort, care, desire.  Characters have to live on the page and in the imagination, and making them one dimensional kills them more thoroughly than anything.

So remember when you are writing, and you feel your eyes fill with tears, or you find yourself smiling in happiness, that you are bringing your character to life.


In the book challenge this week I only completed one…

Book 10 – The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  I really liked this; it’s a children’s book, but it doesn’t talk down to children, and the concepts within it are applicable to us all.  I felt the end was a little rushed, because the focus of attention changes from one place to another quite suddenly, and the book is then resolved within a couple of chapters – but I have come to the conclusion this was a fashion as  so many books are like it – or that I just like a smooth transition from middle to end!  I particularly enjoyed the dialect sections because they gave such an insight into when the children started belonging to their home.

I have a second on the ‘did not get through it’ list this week as well – Paradise Lost, by John Milton.  I know it’s a classic, but I read the first few lines and put it down.  I need to build up to that style of epic poetry, Beowulf was hard enough and that had been translated into a more modern English…

So ten done, two discarded, and one on the go.  Not a bad start to the challenge!

Until next time, happy writing



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