May 09, 2015

Exposed Thoughts and Feelings - Shirley S. Tye

A part of me always leaks onto the page, even when writing non-fiction.  It’s difficult to put a cork in it and write only the facts.  But, I can do it and have done it when writing articles but it feels stiff, unnatural.  Good thing I’m not trying to earn a living as a journalist.

Certain genres call for a writer’s true feelings and thoughts.  Revealing feelings and opinions can feel as if one is exposing too much of oneself to strangers. Well, that’s how I feel; uncomfortable, on the judgement seat, exposed.  That’s why generally only a bit leaks out.      

However, when writing fiction, I do let my feelings flow with the hope that the character’s feelings pop off the page, bringing life to the story.  I try to get into the character to see what he or she is thinking and feeling.  I walk about the house imagining and practicing different styles of walking, gestures, and phrases.  It’s the same technic used on stage.  In order to portray the character fully, as a real person, an actor or actress has to know the character as oneself.  On stage I’m not me, I’m someone else; the play is my life; the stage my world.  There’s freedom of expression when hiding behind a character.  I don’t feel exposed.    

Writing with feeling can be frightening but yet when we write with passion we catch people’s attention and at times inspire someone. When I need to get my feelings onto paper, I just have to relax and let go; something like diving into the deep end of the swimming pool.  Close my eyes and relax.  Jump!  Geronimo!  Look at those waves slapping against the side of the pool! Where’s my bathing suit?  Oh, dear, exposed again. 


  1. "I walk about the house imagining and practicing different styles of walking, gestures, and phrases." Shirley, I'd love to peek in through your window when this is going on. I don't write much fiction, but I have to remember this when I do. Great suggestion!

  2. Thank you Shirley! I sensed your passion and emotion. I relate to the line, "Writing with feeling can be frightening". I have known that fear. It is this fear that kept me from sharing my writing, from sharing the characters of my stories. It is writers like you who encourage me to go beyond the fear. For the love of writing we share with the world the characters we introduce in our writing. Thank you once again Shirley! Take care my friend!

  3. I like the intro ... "a part of me always leaks onto the page"

  4. I appreciate the way you instruct those of us who haven't jumped into the deep end of the "fiction pool." You have made me see the freedom of fiction writing. I may start dipping my toes in the shallow end of that pool.

    I also leak on the page when I write NF and I figure out life wisdom that I had previously overlooked. I find surprises. Robert Frost said, "No surprise in the writer,no surprise in the reader."

  5. Good idea, Shirley, to walk around the house and get into character. I will have to try that one!
    Pam Mytroen

  6. An upbeat post :). Thanks Shirley!


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