Today, I’m visited by my good friend, Gina Hooten-Popp. Gina is another of my Jodi Pioneer friends of long standing. She’s written a compelling story set in the early 1900s on the hurricane that hit Galveston.
Evoking emotion. Two simple words, but to me they are what creativity is all about. Whether it’s music, dance, painting or writing … the reason people connect with a creative art form is because of the feeling it awakens within.
Therefore, when I write, I feel it is important to convey a story that touches the soul. One that people can relate to on a primal level. And, I hope the story will inspire and help people cope with whatever they are facing in life.
Having said all this, I would like to discuss my writing process and how I add emotion to my stories. First, thanks to my computer, I write everywhere. Loud places, quiet places, indoors and out. But I always calm my mind before I begin. In truth, I trance out a bit, allowing the story to flow to me. Then I write it as fast as I can. Later, I revise the whole manuscript at least five times so I don’t worry too much about being perfect on the first draft. During this initial outpouring of the story, there are many sections where I’m writing from my brain, or intellect so to speak, but then I will come upon a section that I project out from my heart. I no longer am thinking through the storyline, but feeling my way through it with the characters. And I literally change the way I project my thoughts. I let the thoughts come to my head and then I allow them to move down to my heart and flow out on the paper. (Technically the computer screen.)
This phenomenon may sound strange to you if you’ve never tried it, but it is a great way to connect emotionally. It works not only in writing, but also in all forms of creative expression. Perhaps it is easiest to observe with music. Everyone appreciates technical expertise when someone is playing a song. But the music becomes much more moving when a musician projects from their heart and they become one with their instrument. Whether it’s rock, country or classical, watch a video of a good musician and you can see the transitions when they move from projecting from their brain to their heart and back again. I try to do this in writing and I think it helps. I hope I’ve helped you. Or at least given you a good laugh. Which, I might add, is stirring up emotion.
Bio: A native Texan, Gina Hooten Popp was born in Greenville and now lives in Dallas with her husband and son. THE STORM AFTER is her first novel. Before publication, THE STORM AFTER was a finalist in The Linda Howard Award of Excellence for Unpublished Writers Contest and the Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest.