Showing posts with label emotion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label emotion. Show all posts

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Let the Emotion Out

Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine

When it comes to fiction writing I've been asked why I don't write more happy stories. I receive comments from time to time that my stories are gritty, full of emotion, profound and a lot of times, dark. My response to that is, I always strive for an emotional response. You see to me, reading is about expression. 

My experiences in life taught me to engage those feelings and come to terms with them. I guess for some writers it would be easy to put aside all of their personal experiences and just write happy stories. After all, for some writers and readers literature is an escape from reality, finding a way to disconnect from troubling things.

I've always thought of literature as exploration of the mind, dreams, feelings, fantasies, and of course the ‘what ifs’. Many times I find I want to convey a specific feeling or explore a certain possibility that my characters need or should experience. Personal growth has always been important to me and I try to challenge my characters so they too can grow and in some small way my readers can grow too.

So why can't my stories be sweet and happy? I suppose if I purposefully wrote a story specifically focusing on the happy, I could. However I have found that life resonates and provides the most meaning through a range of emotions, positive and negative. There are happy and sad moments in my stories, interludes of joy and pain, bursts of recrimination or adulation, flashes of excitement and floods of despair. The lasting effect on the reader lies in leading them through a gauntlet of emotion ending at a resolution that is satisfying and reasonable.

I've read stories where it seemed very jarring and almost disturbing learning the fate of some characters. There's been a few times where I thought Stephen King might have been a bit too harsh, even on his antagonist. But that's my simple opinion. Considering all this, perhaps it is time to focus on a happy tale of joy and fun. I'm sure there is plenty to learn and experience from a straightforward heartwarming tale.

Now where should I start, children at play, a game of chance, friends reuniting, or a first love? You see, emotions come from just about anywhere and the stories will follow. Life is like that I guess. If you pay attention long enough you'll actually learn something. I for one am still learning after all these years and I don't plan on stopping, how about you?

Thanks for reading. 

Questions and comments are welcome.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

For all it's commercialization and obvious marketing, Valentine's Day is more than just a manufactured holiday. Peal back the cynicism and pessimism for a moment and think about the meaning behind the day's focus. 


Volumes can and have been written on the subject. That's right, Love is the quintessential human emotion that drives and motives nearly all 7 billion of us. Having it, wanting it, needing it; it's not just the emotion but the gifts that come with being in love. I'm not just talking about romantic love you have with a significant other, but all kinds of love, from parental love to love of a pet. We all feel the need and want to have someone or something close to us. It's undeniable. Loving and being loved gives us a deeper purpose, a fuller richer feeling that comforts us and makes us feel valued. Love lightens the mood and provides inspiration. Granted, there are some downsides to be sure, but in the end, Love is a positive gift in life.  

However, the expression of that love is another story all together. Some people find it very hard to say how they truly feel. Self expression presents a road block to truly uncovering how they feel about someone and just how much that special person means to them. 

It isn't easy for some people to say I love you. It's even harder for some people to do the right thing regarding their loved ones. If a certain amount of cynical unhappiness invades your mind today, wipe away that jaded derision and think for a moment specifically about the people that you love, and that love you. No matter where they are, near or far, if you have any feelings for them don't waste any time letting them know. As cliche as it might sound, there's no time like the present, because tomorrow may never come. Don't waste a moment. Make room for that love to flourish. You might just find that those you love will be even more expressive about how they feel. Give it a shot!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thanks for reading. Questions and Comments are welcome.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Fascination of Inspiring Paintings

Paintings are an extreme visual representation of emotion.  The first time I saw this painting, I was mesmerized.

L'Ange du Foyerby Max Ernst  

This painting is so striking and animated, yet the agony I seen in that creature is so articulated I'm somewhat stunned.  It never fails to capture my attention every time I see it.

The next painting that has always had my attention is this one.

Persistence of Memory

This paiting is by Salvador Dali  I'm constantly perplexed by the meaning of this painting.  Time is always such a strange subject, putting its essence into a painting seems to complicate the idea. 

I hope you like my selections.  Think about concepts and ideas that interest you and see if you can find paintings that represent those ideals.  You might be very surprised at what you find!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Where Does Inspiration Come From?

Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine

Closely linked to Creativity is the Inspiration necessary to create.  I've often wondered 'where' Inspiration comes from.  To be totally honest, Inspiration comes from everywhere, anywhere and nowhere.  At first this may seem like a cryptic and convoluted non-answer, but bear with me.  Life is really just a person's perspective.  It's the sum of all their experiences, knowledge, intellect, hopes, dreams, fears and relationships, to both others and their environment.  People see life through their own perspective, not Bob's, or Jim's, or Sally's.  If one were to remain isolated in their comfort zone, that comfort zone would shrink and they would be less and less likely to try new things, keep an open mind about different perspectives and generally become closed off.

This is where inspiration does NOT live.  Inspiration is closely linked to experience, variation and  emotional variance.  If you become exposed to more and more things, your understanding increases and the ability to see things from differing points of view grows.  The possibilities of 'what if' become stronger and it leads you to think in new ways.  Once the power of 'new' takes hold, Inspiration becomes easier.  All of the things in your life now take on the possibility of inspiring a new thought or idea, dream or scheme.

Try this:  Go into a room you have been in many times.  Look around.  If it all looks the same change your perspective.  Stand on the chair and look down.  Climb up on the counter and look around (please be careful).  It's the same room, but you're looking at it from a totally different and probably new perspective.  You changed your perspective of that room and your view of it changed too.  Keep that feeling alive and inspiration will come.

I believe in you.  It can happen.  Just change your perspective.

Thanks for reading.

Understanding Pandemics

By Doug Clark Head Writer -  The Inspiration Engine With all that is going on with Covid 19, I thought it would be a good idea to help ...