Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 03/27/15


In the study of Philosophy, the term “empirical knowledge” refers to knowledge based on experience. As professors and students dig further, they discover that experience is also the processed and unprocessed thoughts perceived after an event occurs.  From those thoughts, wisdom is gained as people/characters reflect and/or interpret the actions and events of their lives.  German Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “To live is to suffer; to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”

What I’ve just described is the heart of and the “act” of writing and reading fiction. In the course of our lives, we will never be able to experience what it is like to live in all the societies/cultures around the world—or all the times/eras. However, through fiction novels we can imagine it. Some might argue that non-fiction facts provide a clearer picture and understanding. I politely disagree because it is in the EMOTION of the moments of life that we are able to truly grasp the essence of what has happened.

Back when I was teaching, we did a week-long exercise in Emotion, Mood and Motivation. My question was, “Which comes first?” Does the mood of the moment create the emotion that motivates the action?  OR…does a character’s deep-seeded motives create the mood that then creates the emotion and action? OR…(well, you get the idea).  Here comes the really fun part of writing fiction. Writers get to jump into those motives, moods and emotions of each of their characters and discover new experiences for their readers to experience.  Here are some ideas to help you in developing your skills and abilities in this area.

  1. Fiction author, Orson Scott Card suggests focusing on motivation: “Instead of writing about feelings, write about WHY your characters are doing the things they’re doing.”
  2. If your readers need to know that the main character is “full of fear,” stay away from telling that fact—show the emotion. Example: the house is quiet and peaceful…the cat knocks over her water dish…the main character JUMPS into the corner of the room behind the couch and bursts into tears.
  3. Mood music. The world of movie-making uses this element to the max and we’ve all experienced it. This can be—and must be—accomplished in fiction writing, too. Much like an artist paints a masterpiece, the use of description (yes, adjectives) is an art to itself. READ the master-authors who utilize this gift and you will develop it, too.

Folding these elements of Mood, Motivation and Emotion into your characters will greatly enhance your ability to give readers exactly what they are looking for in Fiction Novels—their subconscious (and often conscious) need to experience life from another perspective. No two characters (or people) will react to events and circumstances in the same manner. And, as the character experiences more of life, they may not react as they did previously.

The excellent Fiction Author will grasp these elements of writing and never let them go, but continue to develop them throughout their writing lifetime.  That is my hope for every reader of this blog, that you will write and publish the very best quality of Fiction Novels and reap all the rewards!

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

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