Newsletter: 13/1/12: Figment Prompts for January 7 — 11
It is said that writing is the loneliest craft, and certainly one can spend hours alone creating it. But I tend to think it is the most social craft as well. In our minds, words sing, words paint and words talk, exposing us to stories that we participate in, contribute to and write down. Writing is lonely to the observer, and it is lonely or perhaps empty, with silence and withdrawal sucked into the emptiness, once we put the piece we are creating away. But it is full of life and flow when we are creating. Writing is, if anything, vital. As we consume it, it also consumes us.
I am writing a key chapter that is deeply steeped in imagery and emotion. It is a challenge to write, or rather a challenge to tighten into sensible passages, but is is also extremely fun to make.
Leopold Stokowski once said, “A painter paints pictures on canvas. … musicians paint their pictures on silence. [And writers paint theirs on inner vision.]”. Each of these expressions reveal and entertain the imagination of the creator and the audience. The story told by each is vivid and multi-sensory. But perhaps more importantly the story experienced is unique to each person and even to the same person at different times. Even a creator when experiencing his own work as an audience experiences a story different from the one he experienced while creating the work. This is the power of craft, art and communication.
As writers, we turn letters into experiences envisioned by the minds of others we never meet. Whether we write poems or stories or both, our canvas is the inner vision of our audience. Of all the arts, our practice has the most abstract and internal canvas. And yet it is the most open to interpretation and flavour, and the most profound in its resonance. Pretty cool.
Just something to think about as you consider this week’s Figment prompts.
This week, Figment asks us to delve into our imaginations and express what we experience. How do you describe an emotion? How do you do so without naming or telling it? How do you do so using concrete nouns as the main descriptors? How do you resonate an emotion in your readers’ minds, so that years after reading your story (and poem) the most striking feature of it is still your expression of that emotion? How does the context of the emotion enrich it? How do you incorporate emotion into the content of your work? How do your characters express mounting emotion? How do they suppress it? If you are writing a poem with no living things in it, who are your characters? What colour or sense, dynamic or feel does an emotion convey? Enjoy.
I hope you have fun with these prompts. If you attended our meeting on Wednesday, how would you incorporate emotion into your prompt from then?
Our next Write Group meeting is Wednesday, February 6.