Friday, January 11, 2008

Studying the craft of writing

Hello out there! Yes, it's me and I'm still alive. lol
I know I said that I wanted to try and keep up regular posting on my blog this year...and I've done a poor job of it, huh? Well, it's still January, so I'm going to try another hand at it. lol

My son and his wife gave me a BAM gift certificate for Christmas. So I bought books.
But not just any books. It's been awhile since I've indulged in some that will help me with the craft of writing.

One of the books I purchased is Breathing life into your characters by Rachel Ballon, Ph.D. It focuses on how to give your character emotional and psychological depth. The author is a psychotherapist who specializes in working with writers.

I'm not quite half way through, as I'm reading a little here and there, but there's exercises to do. The author's philosophy is that a writer can't write a convincing character unless you are open to your own emotions. So far, the exercises I've come across concentrate on doing this by freewriting.

Which brings me to this post. When I used to sit and write in my journels (long before computers), I freewrote. It's actually a very inimate experience for me because it was just me, a pen, and paper and I wrote all the emotions I was feeling at that time down. Looking back at them now (yes I still have them and take them out every few years) I think WTF? Some makes sense and I remember it clearly. Other times, I just stare at the words confused wondering why I felt that way over something I now see as petty.

I thought I'd share what Dr.Ballon had to say about freewriting.

Write as freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite untilt he whole thing is down. ~~~John Steinbeck

When you first begin to write, concentrate on the writing process itself and not on the technique. Write your ideas without worying whether they're good enough. By staying in the moment, your writing will flow. This method of writing from your inner world is the first burst of imagination that comes to you in a moment of inspiration. It's known as free or automatic writing because you write without worrying about grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Just keep the pen moving and don't lift it from the page for at least 15 minutes.

The amazing phenomenon about freewriting is that the words flow from the pen naturally and unrestricted by thought, making them rich to emotion and description. Since freewriting taps into your uninhibited inner truths, your writing will have more defintie shape and be filled with specificity, and your characters will have a depth and honesty as never before.

Since many of the writing exercises prsented in this book draw on freewriting techniques, the exercises enable you to reach your inner depths and mine the buried treasure within. They allow you to awaken your inner characters and transform them into fascinating fictional characters. By working through the writing exercises, you'll go on a journey to relive and emotionally reexperience your childhood stories, memories, and feelings through the use of visualization and writing.


I thought this was an interesting section of the book, having never really thought that I was freewriting during all those years. I just thought it was therapy to my soul. lol

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