"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E.L. Doctorow

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Balancing Act

Piggybacking on my post from yesterday, I started to think about different writing styles and how writers seem to have their preferences.



More specifically, I find that there are two styles that most writer's align themselves with - visual or emotional. But I also realize that the best authors can blend the two seamlessly.


Personally, the first story that I wrote was all emotion. All. While writing it, somehow I didn't notice that I was severely lacking in the opposite side of the spectrum...but then again it was my first story. This time around I'm trying very hard to keep a good balance between the two.


So my question for you is ...Do you find it hard to keep an even balance in your writing? Or do you find yourself leaning more one way than the other?

14 comments:

stacey said...

Yes, it's hard! I usually write more with the emotion and that comes across well. And then at the same time I find I am so connected with my own emotion that I sometimes forget that the reader, especially one who doesn't know me, needs more background than what I've given.
But hey, anyone who says it's easy has no idea, I think. :-)
have a great day!

C.M. Villani said...

Here! Here! It's soooo not easy.

I'm the same way. I'm a highly empathetic person to begin with so my writing reflected that naturally. The problem is making sure that I flush out the parts that don't come naturally!

Brynne said...

Maybe its best when we as writers share the visuals of the movie playing in our heads but root those visuals in emotion in order for readers to embody the story. Just visual seems to give the reader more freedom to go where they want. Take a photograph, for example. You see this, I see that. When we root our 'movies' in emotion, we begin to tell the story we most want to tell. lt moves a story from a head experience to a body/mind/spirit one. For me, thats the most effective.

kario said...

What Brynne said! I always start from a place of emotion, but try to tie it to physical feelings or items that give it texture. Hard work!

C.M. Villani said...

Brynne and Kario - well said.

I always heard that the best writers remember to use all five of their senses in their writing. But I also think that the emotional element is essential to pulling your readers into your world and giving them a vested interest.

Kelly Hashway said...

I try to leave some of the visual up to the reader's imagination because I love when books do that. Still I have to remind myself to provide enough visual to give my reader a sense of what I'm talking about. I struggle with that sometimes.

Deborah said...

I think this post goes extremely well with your previous one about finding beauty in small things. A good writer will present words that are richly detailed, that appeal to one or more of the senses - while at the same time, capturing an emotional aspect of the story. Yes, simple as that...(!)

C.M. Villani said...

Kelly - With that, I'm the opposite. When I work on the visual aspects of my story sometimes I find myself putting too much detail into the story! I'll go to read it back and think "There's no need for all this in there." :/

C.M. Villani said...

Deborah - Hahahaha! Exactly ....Simple.... sure. :D

Miss Good on Paper said...

Balance is tough. It sounds like the story you were writing is a draft that just needs a little revision. Most writers don't know what they're doing while they're doing it. Drafts are supposed to be messy, right? =) Keep at it and let me know if you figure out the secret to finding balance. I could use it!

MuMuGB said...

You made me realise that I am all about emotions. I need to be more visual. Easier said than done...

Cara Lopez Lee said...

Great question, C.M. I think the sensory images I choose to describe can reflect the emotions of a character, and evoke emotions in the reader. I also think that when I dive deeply into the emotion of a scene it often brings sensory elements along with it... like opening a full closet and having a lot of things spill out on top of you. I admit, sometimes I get to playing ping-pong with emotional dialogue and forget to stop the game, but when I'm on a roll like that, I think it's worth letting it rip. I can always condense and reintroduce sensory language later.

journeytoepiphany said...

I think there are days I am an emotionally driven writer and then others when I'm a visually driven writer. Thank God for rewrites. Then I can converge the two.

Dawn Brazil said...

I struggle with the visual more - well in the beginning. I think it is my weakest area even now but through writing every day or critiquing or blogging about writing I've greatly improved. I'll never be as good as I want to be or as good as my favorite authors but that's what I'm striving for.

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