Show, Don’t Tell: How to Write the Stages of Grief

Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! Well, I should start calling it Social Media Treasure Thursday since I keep finding my articles on sites besides Twitter, but whatever. The point is to find useful writing tips and share them with you, so I will!

Today’s article (thanks to Pinterest) focuses on a task most of us writers find difficult to achieve: Getting readers to feel. 

As an avid reader myself, I tend to have three different reactions to an author’s attempt to move me: 1) Sniffle and cry. 2) Shrug indifference. 3) Roll eyes and snicker. Obviously, all writers hope to elicit the first reaction. But, let’s face it, writing genuine emotions (especially grief) and getting readers to believe them is tough!

Thankfully best selling author, Ruthanne Reid, provides us with some great tips in her article, Show, Don’t Tell: How to Write the Stages of Grief:

The power of story largely resides in its power to evoke emotions. Our favorite works all tend to follow that path. We read about a heroine who succeeds against impossible odds, and we are bolstered by her courage. We read about the ridiculous antics of a teenage boy who’s too smart for his own good, and we share both his embarrassments and his triumphs.

Empathy is the ultimate form of “show, don’t tell.”

To read the entire article, click here! Also, if you’d like to read some examples of stories that, in my opinion, evoke genuine emotions, consider these ones: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. If I Stay by Gayle Forman. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. (If you have others to recommend, leave a comment!)

For more useful advice, follow Ruthanne Reid on Twitter!

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Music Monday – Cell Block Tango – Chicago

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicFor the first time in a long time, I’ve been excited to sit down, open up a manuscript, and write. Besides loving my plot and crazy characters, I have music to thank for my surge in motivation. I’ve come across so many great songs lately! So many, in fact, I had a tough time deciding which one to choose for this week’s Music Monday.

After a lot of debating, I finally decided to go with “Cell Block Tango” from the musical Chicago.

cover-2Last week, I probably listened/watched this song on YouTube at least a dozen times. I couldn’t get enough of it! It has so many of the darker emotions and elements I need to feel while writing my story: Fury. Vengeance. Denial. Murder.

*cue evil laughter* 😉

What makes this song extra powerful is the performance of it. As I watch the dancers in the video below, I can see my characters and I can feel their wrath. Their twisted righteousness, their satisfaction, their spite…

So, I said to him,
I said, “you pop that
gum one more time…”
and he did.
So I took the shotgun off the wall
and I fired two warning shots…
…into his head.

So, if you’re looking for a song that brings out the dark side of your plot and characters, check out “Cell Block Tango” from the musical Chicago.

In case there are technical glitches with the video above, here’s another one that should work: “Cell Block Tango”.

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

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Photo credits: 

1, 2, 3, 4

Music Monday – Elastic Heart – Sia

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicLast week, I decided to push pause on my new novel to first finish revising a short story I wrote for last year’s NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. I began rewriting this piece back in February, but both life and exhaustion kept me from finishing it. So, now that I have the energy and peace of mind to focus, I’m going to.

To help inspire me, I’ve been watching the music video for Sia’s “Elastic Heart”–a lot.

sia___elastic_heart__2__by_letmebeheezus-d8eysd8In a nutshell, my story is about two crazies trying to off each other. So, I need to find things that inspire my inner psycho. And this music video definitely does. Shia LaBeouf and Maggie Ziegler’s movements, facial expressions, and emotions spark the exact feelings I need to experience to write my story.

Another reason I love this video is its meaning. Just like my main character, Shia LaBeouf is forced to face his inner demons (Maggie Ziegler), and then battle to overcome them. And that battle involves a wide range of emotions: fear, anxiety, denial, courage, pity, curiosity, pain, rage…It all adds up to a powerful and moving display. And watching it makes me feel closer to my main character and his struggles.

So, if you’re looking for a video that has edge, emotion, and a splash of insanity, then check out “Elastic Heart” by Sia!

And if you’d like to watch the making of this video, as well as understand its meaning better, click here!

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

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Photo credits: 

1, 2, 3, 4

Music Monday – Take Me Away – Avril Lavigne

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicOn my way home from work last Friday, I decided to put my iPod on shuffle (1800+ songs). For the first half of my drive, nothing grabbed my attention. It all sounded the same and blah, blah, blah. Then a song I haven’t heard in years popped up and I was obsessed with it all weekend.

Avril Lavigne’s “Take Me Away” has so many of the components I need to get motivated: rhythm, tone, lyrics. I actually used to listen to it all the time while writing in the past, but–somehow–I’d forgotten about it. I’m so happy I stumbled upon it again!

Avril-Lavigne-Take-Me-Away-FanMade-Single-Cover-avril-lavigne-34235851-1833-1833My favorite thing about this song is its raw emotions. While listening to it, I’m able to experience anger, sorrow, desperation, defeat, frustration…And then I’m able to take those darker feelings and infuse them into my work.

And, of course, I love this song’s lyrics. Whether it’s one line or many, I always find something in “Take Me Away” to spark my imagination and help with whatever story I’m working on.

All the pain I thought I knew
All the thoughts lead back to you
Back to what was never said
Back and forth inside my head
I can’t handle this confusion
I’m unable; come and take me away

Avril-Lavigne-BlackStar-Concert-05So, if you’re looking for a song to help inspire those darker, rawer emotions, check out “Take Me Away” by Avril Lavigne.

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

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Photo credits: 

12, 3, 4

Music Monday – Set Fire to the Rain – Adele

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicAs I mentioned on Friday, I planned on being a big ol’ hermit this weekend to catch up on my manuscript. Well, I succeeded! After I got home on Friday night, I locked the doors and hunkered down for two straight days of writing.

To be honest, I didn’t listen to much music the past couple of days. When I write, I need absolute silence. And the only time I broke the silence in my house this weekend was to take breaks to eat and watch an episode of The Mindy Project (FYI: Funniest. Show. Ever!).

However, on my way to work this morning, I set my iPod to shuffle and stumbled across Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain”. And I fell in love with it–er, more than I already was. It’s perfect for the chapters I’m currently working on.

adele21To me, this is a cinematic type song. It’s dramatic and grand, and overflowing with emotions. Plus the lyrics are amazing and offer up their own serving of inspiration.

As I listen to “Set Fire to the Rain”, I “see” my characters moving, talking, reacting, and feeling. And the setting around them is there, bold, colorful, and believable.

So, if you’re looking for a powerful song that gives a writer a paintbrush and a thousand colors to create moving, vivid scenes, then check out Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain”.

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

Photo credits: 

http://michaelgalvis.com/

http://reddebtedstepchild.com/blogging-hermit/

http://prettymuchamazing.com/music/stream/adele-set-fire-to-the-rain-lovesong 

https://www.tumblr.com/search/Adele%2021

Music Monday – Love The Way You Lie – Eminem and Rihanna

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicThis week, I will be working on some of the most intense, emotional scenes in my manuscript. In preparation for writing these heartbreaking chapters, and dragging my characters through the mud and turning their worlds upside down, I’ve been listening to Eminem and Rihanna’s powerful hit, “Love The Way You Lie”.

Eminem-Love-the-Way-You-Lie1This song is packed with conflict, pain, and all of the emotions I need to feel while writing these explosive scenes: betrayal, fury, heartbreak, fear, regret…I also love the lyrics and music video. Both help me tap into my dark side and go to places I don’t want to go–but must.

tumblr_ly5q65ZGOP1r9n7rxo1_500So, if you’re looking for a song that touches upon heavy topics, and inspires intense emotions, check out “Love The Way You Lie”.

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

Photo credits: 

http://michaelgalvis.com/

http://www.free-youtube-mp3.com/eminem-rihanna-love-the-way-you-lie-download/

http://www.wattpad.com/43557165-lyrics-and-quotes-love-the-way-you-lie-eminem

 

Music Monday – I’m Shipping Up To Boston – Dropkick Murphys

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicGood news, everyone: I’m in the groove again! This past weekend, I set aside every and all distraction and wrote…and wrote and wrote and wrote. In fact, I was so into my manuscript, I had to force myself to stop yesterday to run errands and get out of the house for a few hours.

One of the things that helped me get pumped up and back on track was listening to “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” by Dropkick Murphys.

DKMThis song captures the essence of the chapters I’m currently working on: revenge, betrayal, anger, terror. It also lends excellent motivation for when I’m choreographing any fight scenes, and during this past weekend, I worked on two that were brimming with kicks, chops, and punches.

So, if you’re looking for a song that inspires “Ahh!”, “Grrr…”, and “hi-yah!”, check out “I’m Shipping Up To Boston!”

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

Photo credits: 

http://michaelgalvis.com/

http://www.redbullusa.com/cs/Satellite/en_US/Article/Dropkick-Murphys-Talk-Latest-Album-Bruce-Springsteen-021242992026935

http://itsarianadumbledore.tumblr.com/

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