Monday, March 26, 2012

Write From The Heart, But Be Careful

Yesterday, Maureen Rogers, a Seattle writer and friend of mine, posted a link to ta new story just published at MetroMoms Fiction. "Nobody's Home" is a true story which will tug at your heart.

The story is about a small boy who has a difficult home life. Maureen was the secretary at his school, and she had to deal with a situation that would touch anyone's heart. Not only that--she wrote the story from her own heart. Yes, she's a mother herself, so maybe that helped. There;s a fine line to writing with just enough emotion and not overdoing it. The author was able to balance the two very well.

If the story you plan to write moves you personally, you want to get that fact across to your readers without coming right out and saying. I was so moved by what happened. You want to write the story so that your readers will know that you were moved. It's what is so great about writing creative non-fiction. It's a true story, but emotion and personality can be a part of it. It's that part that comes from the heart.

Be careful not to overdo it. Too much of a a good thing is--well, it's too much. Years ago, I was part of a group of writers that published at an inspirational website. One of the other writers sent stories that were basically good ideas, but she went overboard on descriptions and emotion to the point that I nearly gagged when reading them. The editor continued to publish these overdone pieces, and I often wondered why. It's frequently the new writer who writes in this manner. Time and practice should teach her that, while emotion and writing from the heart is important, it needs to be done with some careful thought. Draw that line and stay on the right side of it like Maureen Rogers did with her story.

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