Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Structure of the GOTHIC Tale

Art by Ayame Kojima
Structure of
the

GOTHIC Tale

NOT your average Horror story.
What is the difference between a Gothic tale and a Horror story? Intent. Seriously.
Both Horror stories and Gothic tales delve into the realm of emotional trauma such as revenge, abuse, and hate--including, if not especially, sexual trauma. However, the darkness in a Gothic tale is not expressed or defined by graphically detailed, and gruesome, violence as it is in a Horror. Though violence is often featured in the Gothic, it is NOT the main focus of the story. The drama of Despair is the vehicle of the Gothic where a Horror story is driven by the action of Violence.

In a nutshell...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Horror = Action story
Gothic = Drama Story

While both Gothics and Horror are tales of the spiritual and/or psychological reality of the human psyche, Horror stories deal with the monsters that can lurk within our friends and neighbors. Gothics, however, deal with the monsters within ourselves; the hidden, self-destructive side that we don't want to admit exists within ourselves.

This means that the unlike the Horror plotline which is simply a gory adventure story that follows the common Heroic Cycle plotline, the Gothic plot is far more complicated -- emotionally complicated.
The Gothic Plot
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Act 1. Rise
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. Character is Valued/not Valued
  - Leading to Underestimated Talent
  --- Triggering Pride/Shame
  ----- Which causes an Emotional Issue to form.

2. Incidental/Accidental Accomplishment
- a - Draws the wrong kind of attention
--- The Monster
- b - Also creates Envy in someone close
--- Friend / Family member / lover / coworker

3. Encounter with the Monster (symbol of Emotional Issue)
--- Contamination / Gift

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Act 2. CRASH
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. The Sincere Mistake
--- Pride represents an irresistible Challenge.
- a - To the Envious
- b - to the Monster

2. CRASH > Monstrosity unveiled
--- Anger leads to a Ruinous Victory
----- They win the battle, but their monstrous nature is Exposed.
--- a --- to their loved ones
--- b --- to their enemies
--- c --- to themselves

3. Departure from Society
--- Regret triggers Escape / Removal from Society

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Act 3. Fall ( Stages of Grief & Transformation)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. Dangerous territory
--- Denial = belief that they are an Outcast / Abandoned.
----- Belief that they Deserve to be an Outcast / Abandoned.

2. Meeting with the True Monster
--- Anger = Love-Hate Relationship
- a - with the Monster
- b - with the Envious
- c – with their own monstrous nature

3. Threats & Promises
--- Negotiation = Temptation & Persuasion
- a - from the Monster
- b - from the Envious

4. Surrender & Sacrifice
--- Despair = Submission & Adaptation
- a - to the Monster
- b - to the Envious
- c - to their own monstrous nature.

5. Escape / Rescue
--- Acceptance = Deliberate release of the Beast Within
- a - They rescue themselves, but at the cost of their humanity.
----- Giving birth to a new core Value. (Pride / Shame)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Act 4. Return to Society - as a Monster
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. Unfinished Business with Envious
--- Hiding in plain sight

2. Confrontation with the Monster
--- Deliberate Transformation
- a -  to Protect
- b - for Revenge

3. Conclusion
--- Willing sacrifice to take down Monster
----- Which ends in a New Life / Heroic Death
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ‘Fall of the House of Usher’ by Edgar Allen Poe, is a Classic Gothic tale. However, at first glance the story doesn’t appear to fit this pattern at all, until you realize that the point of view character, the narrator, ISN’T who this story is about. In fact, he barely affects the plot at all. The story is about Roderick Usher, the last heir to an old decrepit family mansion. The narrator is merely a witness to Usher’s struggle against madness (Acts 3 and 4).

    Oddly, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ by Alexander Dumas, is also a Gothic! It follows the plot pattern perfectly and it covers the most common and devouring psychological monster of all -- revenge.

    The Gothic is about Transformation

    In the average Horror story, the main character usually gains some form of outside help and / or finds a weapon to defeat their monster. In a Gothic, the main character must transform themselves into a weapon. They must become a monster to defeat their monster, then learn to live with the aftermath of their transformation.

    This is why ‘Phantom of the Opera’ is simply a Horror story. None of the characters transform. Christine Daea, the main protagonist does not change herself to deal with her monster. She gains outside help, a protector who basically does all her fighting for her.

    On the other hand, the movie ‘The Matrix’ is very much a modern Gothic. Neo must transform himself into someone and something completely alien to his original geeky character in order to survive the Agents hunting him.

    Another Gothic movie, though it appears to be a Western, is Ravenous’. In this story, the cowardly Cavalry officer protagonist must accept full transformation into a wendigo, a Native American cannibal in order to have the physical strength to defeat the wendigo Colonel stalking him.

    The Monster Within...

    The other key difference between Horror stories and Gothic tales are the monsters. Unlike Horror monsters which are simply opponents to be defeated, each and every Gothic monster is in fact a metaphor for a spiritual or psychological issue. In most cases, the Setting is too.

    Forbidding Locations & their Hidden Meanings
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1) Old Mansions = Inheritance issues
    2) Abandoned Houses = Forgotten Family issues
    3) Antique Shops  = Curiosity (nosiness) issues
    4) Modern Corporations = Job / Business issues
    5) Old Factories = Unemployment issues
    6) Modern Suburbia = Adult Peer pressure issues
    7) Quaint Little Towns = Hidden Community issues
    8) Schools & Colleges = Childhood / Peer-pressure issues
      Monsters of the Psyche
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      1) Ghosts = Guilt
      2) Vampires = Addiction
      3) Witches = Wishes gone bad
      4) Sorcerers /Scientists = Insanity
      5) Werewolves = Rage
      6) Urban Faery = Rebellion
      7) Man-made monsters = Personal Mistakes
      8) Zombies = Peer Pressure
      9) Ogres / Trolls / Giants = Bullies

      The Gothic Hero

      The main character, the one telling the tale always starts out as a fairly nice, normal, and decent person. Why is that?

      Because Gothics are about how the individual deals with being transformed into their own worst nightmare. In other words, how they deal their own monstrous issues. It's all about the battle within. The climax of the Gothic isn't the battle with the monster that needs to be slain, it's how the main character chooses to deal with their own monstrosity.

      The Ending of a Gothic Tale

      There are only two options when facing a dark issue of the psyche. Interestingly enough, both options can lead to either Destruction or Redemption.

      1) Acceptance
      - a - Empowerment
      - b - Addiction to power = Insanity
      - c - Coexistence  / Balance of dual nature

      2) Rejection
      - a - Search for release / escape / *cure = Insanity
      - b - Search for control = Empowerment
      - c - Denial / Ignoring it = Insanity

      *Note:  There is NO CURE for a Psychological Issue in real life. You either Adapt to it, or Succumb to it. Medicating it only Represses (covers up) the issue. It does not Fix it. Sooner or later the medication WILL stop working and that issue WILL resurface. Ask any psychologist.

      In Conclusion…
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Gothic tales are metaphors, proverbs, and fables of goodness versus evil that describe the spiritual and psychological challenges of the human soul. They are modern-day, un-sanitized, fairy tales filled with the horrific punishments that the original fairy tales held:

      • Punishment for the wicked...
      • Empowerment for those trapped in darkness...
      • Redemption for those who have learned to adapt to the living, breathing shadows, within themselves...

      They also conclude exactly like any other fairy tale. The Brave save the day, the Foolish die, and the Guilty are Punished, usually horribly.

      "But real life isn't so neatly tied.
      Bad people Do get away with doing bad things."

      True. Real life ISN'T so neatly tied. Bad people do indeed get away with doing bad things. That does not change the fact that Evil IS Bad and the Wicked SHOULD be punished, even if it only happens in a story.

      Enjoy!

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Morgan Hawke
      www.DarkErotica.Net

      Monday, July 28, 2008

      Writing Stroke-Fiction Erotica


      Art by Luis Royo

      -----Original Message-----
      I would like to write erotica and some of the stuff that you only read in an adult book store while wearing a raincoat and dark sunglasses. LOL! Could you tell me how to get into that market? I see all the ePublishers out there so that's not too much of a problem. But how do you get to write for the "pushing the envelope" stuff?
      -- Enthusiastic about Erotica

      So you wanna write the Hard-Core stuff?

      The easiest way to find an Adult Book publisher is by buying adult books and looking up the publishers’ contact information inside their covers. Look for a website, most have them, and read their Submission Guidelines! Some publishers will allow some things that others will not.

      Case in point: Lush Stories does not allow any type of Non-Consensual Sex scene where most publishers will allow Forced Seduction scenes.

      Note: The difference between a Forced Seduction and a Rape is that a Forced Seduction is Not a Brutal Attack with the INTENT to hurt the recipient. That's Rape. A Forced Seduction is meant to give the protesting recipient Pleasure
      The best way to do this is by writing the scene entirely from the Seduced's point of view, not the Seducer's. This is to make it crystal clear --to the reader-- that the one being seduced really Does want to be seduced, but is protesting for Moral, Ethical, or Social reasons -- not out of FEAR.

      Interested in knowing what types of stories are currently popular? READ the top ten favorite stories on your favorite erotic story site. Also, be sure to look at the reader’s comments. They will tell you right away what they liked -- and why.

      WRITING Stroke Fiction

      Okay, first you need a sex scene. No really…! Think of what kind of sex you want FIRST. The sex is what’s driving the whole story so you need to know what you’re aiming for in order to make the story go there.

      To borrow from my friend Toonces:
      “What do you find hot?
      Write a short list.”

      I did a poll on what sex scenes my readers liked and this is what I discovered…

      My Readers' preferred Smut Scenes: in this order.

      1. Ravished! ~ "Oh no! Don't...! Stop...! Don't...stop!" 
      2. Captured! ~ "I have you now!"
      3. Threesome ~ Sharing the love.
      4. Romantic Fluff ~ Wine & Roses
      5. Lower Education ~ Hot for Teacher.
      6. Domination & Punishment & Whips & Chains ~ "You've been a bad, bad boy."
      7. Bribes & Blackmail ~ "You owe me. Drop your panties!"
      8. Strip Tease ~ "Oops! I'm naked!"
      9. Self Gratification ~ "When I think about you, I touch myself."
      10. Cosplay ~ Leather & lace & ears & tails…
      11. Orgy ~ "The more the merrier!"
      12. Voyeurism ~ "I spy with my little eye..."
      13. Exhibitionism ~ "Here? In front of everyone...?"
      14. The Professional ~ "You can have me--for a price."
      15. Beautiful Stranger ~ "He saw. He conquered. He came. He went."

      Write each scene IN DETAIL!

      As in, every sight, every sound, every scent, every sensation. Describe the setting where the humping will happen, then focus on the characters and stay focused on the characters.

      Pick ONE Point of View per scene!

      This will keep your readers from getting confused over who did what and who felt what especially when it gets hot and heavy.

      Take it EASY on the Emotional stuff.

      The people who read 'Stroke Fiction' are not reading them for anything more than to Get Off.

      Most importantly...!

      Write it in Chronological Order:
      1. He did this.
      2. She reacted this way and did that.
      3. He reacted this way and did the other…
      4. Etc.

      Cheat Tip for writing Sex Scenes:  

      Make a list of actions First, then add all the adjectives and dialogue. If your sentences end up short and choppy, it means you didn’t add enough description, body-language, sound-effects, or internal thoughts. Don't Forget...! ONLY the POV character gets internal thoughts and opinions! If you add anyone else's, you've just committed the heinous crime of HEAD-HOPPING.

      One more thing...

      Write what you KNOW.

      Avoid hate-mail: Do Your RESEARCH! If you write something anatomically impossible or something you’re totally ignorant about, at least one your readers will most definitely let you know, believe me!

      Characters:

      Next, you need (at least) two characters to make your sex scene happen:
      • Lover and Beloved

      For a novel-length story, you ought to have a third character that tries to interfere. Classically, these three characters are known as: Hero ~ Victim ~ Villain.

      In ordinary Erotica, and Romances:
      • Lover
      • Beloved
      • Jealous Ex-Lover or Rival

      In M/M stories:
      • Seducer
      • Seduced
      • Jealous Ex-Lover or Rival

      In BDSM stories:
      • Dominant
      • Submissive
      • Interfering Goody-Goody

      Always DESCRIBE the Characters!

      Make the men manly and handsome and the women full-figured and gorgeous with glamorous occupations. Feel free to use favorite movie characters, famous actors, or musicians as models for your characters, just make sure you change their names!

      Use detailed descriptions with lots of enthusiastic adjectives; hair, eyes, body type, and clothes, but for pity’s sake, don’t write measurements! (“She was five-foot-six, and a 32 double-D.”) Use comparisons as in:

      • Her breasts were two ample handfuls each.
      • He stood an arm’s length away. 
      • Her hair draped to her waist.
      • He stood a full head taller. 
      Just don't go too Purple in your prose, okay?  No using stuff like, "Her eyes shown like diamonds."

      PLOT:

      Erotic Short Story:
      1. They meet.
      2. They hump.
      3. What happened after.
      The end.

      Erotica Novel or Novella:
      1. Seducer meets Seduced, they hump -- and both really like it.
      2. Complications and/or Misunderstandings drive them apart.
      3. One of them Uncovers (or Reveals) a Secret, and they can't resist humping.
        1. or one of them Uncovers (or Reveals) a Secret to someone else, and they hump that someone else. (This is NOT a Romance! Exclusive partners are rarely part of Erotica stories.)
      4. Jealous Rivals meet to plot against the main pairing, and end up humping each other.
      5. Complications caused by the secret plot force the main pairing together, but  they can't hump -- even though they really, really want to.
      6. Driven by longing, the main pairing meet and hump in secret.
        1. or in front of an audience.
        2. or with the audience.
      7. The climactic moment where the Master Secret is uncovered, (“It was all a big misunderstanding!”) 
        1. or a confession is made. (“I like humping you best of all!”)
      8. Complications and rivalries are resolved.
      9. Everybody humps. 
      10. The End.

      To make the story longer, just add more humping.

      Things to AVOID at all cost!

      • NO Underage participants: All participants should be 18 or older -- especially virgins. I realize that this is Not Realistic, but the Law cannot be argued with. Seriously.
      • NO Bestiality: No Animals ever. Were-people and Furries don’t count, as they’re people that LOOK like animals.
      • NO Snuff: Fucking people to death is Right Out.
      • NO Watersports or Scat: Most publishers will not accept pee or poop used in a sexual context.
      • NO Gore: Blood is okay if used tastefully and in limited amounts.

      Words to AVOID:
      • MEMBER: It's a dick, a prick, or a cock, and sometimes a ‘length’--NOT a 'member' and NEVER a 'Manhood.' 'Member' and 'Manhood' are words used by ancient granny romance authors and under-aged fan-fiction writers. If you're too shy to write dick, prick, or cock, you're not ready to write sex scenes.
      • PENIS: This is word that should only ever come out of a doctor's mouth.
      • VAGINA: This is another word that should only ever come out of a doctor's mouth.
      • WOMANHOOD: It's a pussy, a sex, a cunny, or a cunt, and sometimes a core or a center. 'Womanhood' is another word used by ancient granny romance authors and under-aged fan-fiction writers too embarrassed to write the proper terms.
      • APPENDAGE: Whether it's an arm, a dick, an ear, or a foot name the fucking limb, damn it!
      • LOCKS: Locks are tiny portions of hair that tend to curl. Children have locks, not grown adults. Adults can finger a single lock or a tendril, but what they have on their heads is hair, and if it's really long, a mane.

      Getting into the Mood:

      Before you sit down to write:
      • Do something sexually stimulating. 
        • Have sex with your significant other.
        • Watch porn.
        • Read your favorite erotica.
        • Masturbate.
      • Put on some music that suits your story while you write.
      • Close the door and shut off the phone! Interruptions will make it hard to maintain that…special mood.

      Last but not Least…

      Enjoy yourself! If it’s not fun for you to write, it won’t be fun for anyone to read.
      Morgan Hawke
      www.DarkErotica.Net
      ~~~~~~~~~~~

      Sunday, February 03, 2008

      Writing the LOVE scene -- as opposed to the Sex scene.



      -----Original Message-----
      …How exactly I would go about writing a 'romantic/love' scene?”
      -- Curious about Loving

      I believe what you’re actually asking is the same question asked by everyone in the entire world:

      “How can you tell when you are loved?”

      First of all, don’t confuse Romance with Love. They are two completely different things!

      Love vs. Romance

      There IS a difference
      • Romance a manipulation technique designed to make someone receptive to Sex. The source of Romance is LUST.
      • Lovewhen someone’s happiness means more than your own. The source of Love is CARING.
      To many people, Romance means ‘showing love’. That’s not true. You show love by Protecting the ones you care for with the intent to ensure their lasting happiness. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re nice to them.

      "How do you write a LOVE scene
      -- as opposed to a SEX scene?"

      Exactly the same way. The real difference is the MOTIVE.
      • Lust’s motive is ORGASM.
      • Love’s motive is CARING.
       
      "How do you SHOW the difference?"

      It’s easier than you think, because you probably already do it regularly without realizing it.

      Think in terms of your Pet...
      -- When you want to show how much you care, you stroke them, cuddle them, and play with them. You also feed them, clean up their poop, and make sure they have vet check-ups. You do all of these things to keep them happy and healthy. You do these things to keep them from suffering in any way.

      You do the SAME THING with people you love whether they are your parents, your friends, or your children – you hug them, play with them, joke around with them, make sure they’ve eaten, make sure their colds are taken care of, you make sure they are not suffering in any way –- physically or emotionally. You also bitch them out when they’ve done something that could harm them or result in misery.

      The difference between these people and a Lover, is that when you are showing that you care for a lover, you use sex to bring them the greatest physical pleasure you can.

      Point Blank:
      Sex is just another form of PETTING.


      LUST is a whole other bowl of kimchee.
      LUST is a physical urge, like eating when you’re hungry, seeking warmth in the cold, or needing to pee. It is an urge that seeks relief just like all your other physical urges.

      If the urgency is great enough, LUST will attempt every dirty trick in the book to get their hands on their object of choice to gain some relief. If that particular object gives them exceptional pleasure, whether it be a dildo, a rubber doll, a super soft sock, or a person, they’ll make sure that the toy is cared for, and in some cases, jealously guarded – so that the toy will still be there (and receptive) when they want to use it again.

      The key word here is USE.
      • Lust USES others for selfish physical gratification.
      • Love doesn’t use, it GIVES.
      Love gives affection to make the one loved happy.
      -- If something should happen to cause hurt to the one loved, the one who cares is devastated by their FAILURE stop suffering from happening.

      Lust takes affection to make themselves happy.
      -- Toys have PHYSICAL value, not Emotional value. If their toy should break or refuse to be used, they will be FRUSTRATED and ANGRY, but they won’t think they failed. They’ll think the TOY Failed -- and just go out and get another toy.


      "What's the real difference between
      a
      Love scene and a Lust scene?"

      Very simply:
      Lust Takes pleasure.
      Love Gives it.

      Jealousy is NOT a sign of LOVE.

      Jealousy a sign of possession, of ownership; of FEAR that their object will be taken from them and no longer theirs to USE; of Obsession and ADDICTION.

      Jealousy is a point-blank sign of someone concerned with their own happiness, Not their Beloved's. "I won't let you make me unhappy!"

      When the Beloved's happiness comes SECOND to the lover's happiness, "If you love me, you'd do this to make me happy..." What they are expressing is OWNERSHIP.

      When one is IN LOVE, and their lover sleeps with someone else, they do Not feel jealousy, they feel FAILURE, and point the blame squarely on themselves. “I wasn’t enough to make my beloved happy in bed. What did I do wrong?” If their feelings are strong enough, they may ALLOW their lover to keep their other lover --and give up on them entirely-- simply because it's what makes their beloved happy.

      When someone is merely in LUST, they will ISOLATE the object of their desires; from friends, co-workers, family, and even pets. They will use every trick they know, such as; Stalking and Spying, to keep rivals (read: THIEVES) from taking what they have claimed as theirs, even if it's merely their object of Lust's attention.

      Should the object of their Lust sleep with someone else, they will attack the one attempting to steal their possession. "How dare you touch what is MINE?!"

      Then they will attack their 'supposedly' Beloved. "How dare you let someone else have you?! You belong to ME!" Punishment --with the intent to cause Emotional damage-- swiftly follows, such as; breaking something important to their Lust object, a brutal and bloody beating, or flat-out rape.

      If their Lust Object doesn't leave at that point, the jealous owner will then enforce stricter forms of ISOLATION on their Lust Object; up to and including Imprisonment, to 'protect' them from Escape and/or Theft.

      Why do some married women allow their husbands to have a mistress?
      -- Because they LOVE their husbands and want them to be happy. If having a toy makes them happy, they’ll even arrange to get a good quality toy for him.

      Note: This happens far more often than you might realize. I have several very good friends who were personally invited to be a paid mistress by the wife of a corporate husband.

      Why do married men ALWAYS return to their wives?
      -- Because they LOVE their wives. Anyone else is just a toy to relieve their physical urges.

      Think on that while you write your love scene. I swear the difference will show through.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Post Script...
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      -----Original Message-----
      "I'm not sure I agree with the last bit about mistresses, but that's mostly because I find myself unable to justify anyone 'in love' ever cheating on their loved one - again, because it's hurtful and selfish, and a way of making yourself feel good, even as it hurts your husband/wife."
      -- Not Fond of Cheaters

      That bit about Mistresses was merely a point to show that someone who is in love will allow their loved one damned near anything, even if it hurts them -- not an endorsement.

      Love can be a real b!tch.

      Once you love someone, no matter what they do to you, you can't stop loving them. You can only endure it as long as you can, until either they straighten up, or they drive you away.

      I learned my lessons through cold hard experience.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      -----Original Message-----
      "Wow, I always thought Romance was about Love...?"
      -- Prefers Romance

      EVERYONE thinks Romance is about love -- because we really, really WANT it to be.

      Romance tells us that the Other Person gives up everything for Us, when in fact, the opposite is true. Real Love makes us give up everything for THEM.

      When you think about it, Love is a very scary emotion. It makes us give up everything we want, everything we are -- for someone else. If they are not worthy of such a sacrifice, it doesn't matter because we LOVE them and want them to be happy at any cost.

      Real Love comes in many different shapes and colors.
      A love that looks destructive from the outside, such as Bondage and Domination, could in fact be perfectly supportive and exactly what both lovers need from each other. A good movie that illustrates this perfectly is "Secretary".

      On the other hand, what an outsider may think is positive and supportive might in fact not be love at all. Case in point, stalking was once thought of as being an expression of love. Angry possessiveness can look an awful lot like love when in fact it is a terror tactic designed to isolate the one supposedly beloved.

      When a lover asks their beloved to choose between them and anything else, a friend, a pet, or even a hobby, they not interested in their significant other's happiness. They are ensuring that their toy has no outside distractions and is available for their convenience. A good movie that illustrates this is "Sleeping with the Enemy".

      A lover that yells at their beloved for their destructive habits, such as over-spending, drugs, booze, gambling...is more likely to be showing real love, than a lover that sweetly begs their beloved to drop their plans for going out with their friends for a romantic dinner date with them.

      How do you tell the difference?
      -- Measure each action by this question: "WHO benefits from the Results?"

      I am firmly of the opinion, that if one is going to write about Love, one should really know what it is -- and what it isn't.

      Morgan Hawke

       DarkErotica.Net
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Saturday, January 05, 2008

      Writing Emotions VISUALLY

      Art by Luis Royo

      Writing Emotions VISUALLY
      Visual writing is when the reader can SEE your story unfolding in their imaginations just like a movie.
      • Non-visual: It was a dreary day.
      • Visual: Icy rain slithered down the window glass from an iron gray sky.
      This is more commonly known as SHOWING vs. TELLING.
      • Telling: It was a dreary day.
      • Showing: Icy rain slithered down the window glass from an iron gray sky.

      “What’s wrong with just…Telling them?”

      The problem lies with Reader interpretation. Abstract (poetic) words and ideas rely on the readers’ interpretation of what those words mean to them personally.

      For example:
      She was woefully depressed.

      Consider:
      • How does Big Bird act when he’s woefully depressed?
      • How do YOU act when you’re woefully depressed?

      Is there a difference? -- Well yeah, birds molt, lose all their feathers, when they’re depressed. When you were woefully depressed, did you lose all your feathers? (Do you have feathers?)

      If your definitions and the reader’s definitions don’t match -- you're screwed. In other words, the moment you and the reader come to a strong enough 'difference of opinion', they'll stop reading and put the book down, never to pick it up again. Do it too much and the reader will stop reading ANYTHING by you.

      Think I'm exaggerating?
      -- Get on one of the book/author fan-lists and ASK. (I did.)

      So, how do you SHOW emotions in Writing?

      According to Dianna Dorisi-Winget in “Let’s Get Physical!
      ... fiction writers must employ description that accurately expresses a character’s feelings.

      She’s not talking about flowery, sentimental, poetic words, AKA: purple prose, she means describe the physical characteristics of the emotion you’re trying to convey.

      How does one DESCRIBE Feelings and Emotions?

      Emotions appear as Body Language. It’s as simple as describing the character’s body language in addition to describing what they feel physically. Don’t say: “she was sad,” describe the way her tears feel as they run down her cheeks, and the way her heart feels in her chest.

      According to James Scott Bell in his article “Leave Them With Hope”:
      …the author must experience the emotion and describe (the emotion felt) with the five senses, write it as he “feels” it”.

      The trick,” Dorisi-Winget says, “is tapping into your ‘emotion memory.’ Get beyond the pounding heart and clenched fist.”

      Emotion Memory is simply remembering how you felt when you were experiencing the emotion your character is going through.

      Let’s go back to Depression…

      Do you remember what you felt like physically when you were depressed? That’s what you write. Now consider what depression looks like… What did you do when you were depressed?

      Hold that thought because 
      this is where Characterization gets Tricky!
      While depression pretty much feels the same for everyone, how people react to it is another whole bowl of kimchee. Depression affects different people very differently. Some get very quiet, some get violent, and hurt others, (picking fights) some only hurt themselves, (cutting). Some eat a lot of food, some stop eating altogether. Some throw loud temper tantrums, yelling at anything that gets too close, and others refuse to say even one word.

      How would YOUR character actually React? 
       
      Describe the feelings AND the actions. Show them being depressed in all their torrid glory.

      Don’t TELL it: 
      She was woefully depressed.

      SHOW it:
      She leaned to one side against the wall with her shoulders slumped, staring at nothing at all. Her eyes burned with tears that wouldn’t fall. Every beat of her heart seemed to take more effort than it was worth, but somehow, it just kept beating. She was long past pain and well into numb. If only she could stay there, and never feel anything at all, ever again.

      Believe it or not, TELLING the reader what the character is feeling is not nearly as effective or powerful as SHOWING them.

      Exercise:
        • Write a scene where you tell what the character is feeling and doing using as many flowery words as you can.
        • Write the same scene describing what the character is doing and feeling.
          By the way, it’s perfectly okay to use one or two flowery decorative words in addition to your physical descriptions, and in Dialogue; internally, or out loud. When used to flavor Descriptions, it gives what you are describing emotional impact. When used in Dialogue, it gives your characters flavor.
            • Hand both versions to your beta readers and see what they think.

              Looking for a Cheater’s Guide to the physical characteristics of emotions?

              The Non-Verbal Thesaurus

              More on Writing Emotions?
              Emotion: The Bite That Hangs On

              The following is for those looking to get published.
              If you’re just writing for fun and not profit, feel free to skip this part.


              Is this advice
              Cramping your Literary Style…?
              “What about all those flowery literary phrases that everybody else uses?” 
              AKA: “But 'Insert Famous Author' does it, why can’t I?”

              Who is everybody else? Are they alive and still publishing books, or dead?

              Once upon a time, literary writing was how one got published, so naturally that’s what they teach in college. I got news for all you literary students going to class to become fiction authors: That stuff won’t get you published any more.

              Outside of poetry, and high-brow literary journals, the only stuff in the Literary style being bought by the general public -- and publishers today, are Classics. We’re talking stuff that were originally called Torrid Romances, (Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre…) Pulp Fiction, (Sherlock Holmes, HG Wells’ novels, Dickens’ novels…) and Penny Dreadfuls (Dracula, Frankenstein, Edgar Allen Poe’s works…) Stuff that was published a hundred years ago or longer; stuff that was NOT considered Literary in their day; stuff by authors that are currently DEAD.

              "But! But! But what about the great literary authors still alive today...?"

              London Times
              Publishers toss Booker winners into the Reject Pile
              Jonathan Calvert and Will Iredale

              "...Typed manuscripts of the opening chapters of Naipaul’s In a Free State and a second novel, Holiday, by Stanley Middleton, were sent to 20 publishers and agents.

              None appears to have recognised them as Booker prizewinners from the 1970s that were lauded as British novel writing at its best.

              Of the 21 replies, all but one were rejections.

              Only Barbara Levy, a London literary agent, expressed an interest, and that was for Middleton’s novel. She was unimpressed by Naipaul’s book. She wrote: “We . . . thought it was quite original. In the end though I’m afraid we just weren’t quite enthusiastic enough to be able to offer to take things further.”

              The Rest of the story...

              As I said before...

              Outside of poetry, and high-brow literary journals, the only stuff in the Literary style being bought by the general public -- and publishers today, are Classics.

              "So, how come Anne Rice can get away with her florid and rather literary style of writing?"

              Consider this, no matter what she writes, or how she writes it, she’s going to sell a million copies -- because she’s ANNE RICE. She's already proved to her CORPORATE publishers that she'll make them money with her style of writing.

              Is your name Anne Rice?

              No? Then, you’re just going to have to follow the publishing house rules -- just like the rest of us not-quite-famous authors.

              When you can sell a million copies on just your name alone, you’ll be able to write any gosh-darned thing in any gosh-darn way you care to because absolutely no one is going to argue with an author that can sell a million copies with their name alone. Don’t want an editor? No one will argue that either; just ask Steven King and Nora Roberts.

              In short, if you want to be published in this day and age, forget the expensive literary writing courses. Take a nice cheap class on commercial copywriting because that is the style of writing publishers are looking for today.

              “Copywriting…?!
              Isn’t that for Advertising…?”

              Yes, it is. Think, what does Advertising do? It delivers its message with as much emotional impact and persuasive power as it can jam into One Sentence or less.

              • Got milk?”
              • The incredible, edible, egg.”
              • "The Quicker-picker-upper."

              Copywriting teaches you to deliver the most amount of information in the least amount of words. Just think what that style of writing could do for your fiction! It’s done wonders for mine.

              Morgan Hawke
              DarkErotica.Net
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              Parts unashamedly raped from:
              Create Emotion, Not Sentimentality, in Fiction
              By Vivian Gilbert Zabel