Friday, March 18, 2011

Emotive Writing

After reading a bunch of old reviews I come away with the impression that I have been a rather cold writer, delving seldom into emotional issues. In part this is because I write "hard" SF where the emotional opportunities are few and the primary focus is on the facts, not the feelings of [name you thing]

I have always longed to write an insightful, significant, and touching story.  Perhaps one that would evoke tears or incite longing for what might never be or could have been.  I want to elicit emotion, feeling.  I want to engage the reader on both an intellectual and emotional level. It should be about something universal yet applied to not only the protagonist, but to the reader as well. Instead I find that although I have managed to produce salable stories, some parts of which might touch on some of the above, none of them reaches a level that I would be proud of producing.

Was it some fault of my upbringing - my parents insufficiently cruel or uncaring or my environment so unappealing?  No, I can't remember any period where I felt neglected, ignored, or otherwise abused. All in all, I've had a happy, contented life.  Even during periods of unemployment or sickness things have not been all that dark. Is that my problem?  Does a writer need a depressing childhood or flawed relationships to produce emotionally meaningful work?  Do I need some emotionally wrenching experience to enable me to mine the depths for material? Perhaps I am simply not sufficiently talented and capable of only producing the journeyman stories that fill the pages between more memorable works and that I am a mere foot soldier in the war of words.

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