Mind of Mind…

A teacher under whom I studied one said that, “Writing is the mind on the page.”

Now a published author, I often wonder when reading, whose mind does what I am reading reflect, that of the writer/author, or is it that of the characters or the protagonist?

The question may seem moot, since all writing on some level reflects the mind of the writer/author.

Yet the personalities of us authors and writers, like those of other human individuals, hold many aspects.

Whose mind?

Whose personality?

What aspect of psyche and spirit?

We are what we read.

The words we take in shape our hearts and minds, affects our souls.

I read for entertainment and escape. Reading unlike watching a movie allows for a deeper and more intimate engagement.

I seek forms of entertainment that offer shifts in consciousness. Like music lifts my soul, I seek stories and novels that deliver me greater understanding and appreciation of other–other people and other aspects of myself.

Getting to know myself better allows me a measure of compassion for self. Embracing my human frailties and weakness provides me with the ability to show gratitude and mercy towards others.

As fiction writers we have two choices in crafting our first draft, that of allow our characters to tell the story and we take their lead. Or we can infuse ourselves, mainly our ego, into the early phasese of our work through extensive authorial narration mixed with limited character action and dialogue.

This is not to say that stories and novels that contain a lot of prose are extensively controlled by the author. Rather I would imagine the author/writer of moving fiction that contains much prose has worked extremely hard in getting to know her or his characters and has spent much time listening to those characters convey their story.

Crafting interesting and moving characters requires writers to mine the layers of our unconscious. To understand the needs and motives reflecting the desire of these characters forces us to dig deep within ourselves. And then arises the matter of story.

Oftentimes we start out with one idea for a story then after meeting our characters and hearing what they  have to say, we realize the story is not what we thought.

This discovery which on some level is self-discovery can offer both excitement and exhiliaration and/or fear and disappointment.

What arises in us and how we respond to the feelings that emerge greatly influences whose story emerges on the page, that of our characters or our response to what they delivered.

Whose mind is on the page of your story?

The best stories, those that entertain and engage the reader come from deep within places we had no idea existed within us. They transform not only the reader but the writer too.

What story are the words on the page conveying?

From who did the words and dialogue, prose and description come?

~ by Anjuelle Floyd on December 16, 2009.

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