Writing From The Heart
Seems simple to say we should write from the heart but it just isn’t that easy, as I have recently learned. Getting deep into the character’s heart, what he or she longs for, feels bad about or good about and what obstacles seem too insurmountable to overcome is easy in some cases and dang near impossible in others.
What does it takes for a writer to get under the skin of a character? Well, just writing to get another book out there is definitely not the answer. Getting into the character takes soul searching forays into our own character and that takes some insight and courage. I have recently had to dig deep to find the heart of a character. First, I’ve had to step away from the project and give myself some time to absorb the story. I will have to get into the spirit and soul of the character and try to discover what it would be like if the events that happened to her had happened to me. I don’t mind the work involved in a rewrite. I just want to get it right.
The easiest story I ever wrote from the perspective of heart was The Violin. It is a story so close to the truth that I wish it could have happened the way I wrote it. My Uncle John was born and died before I ever came into the world but, through my father’s stories about him, I came to love and admire the rebel of the family. He played the violin that I inherited from him, rode an Indian motorcycle all around the country while he worked for a New York opera company to earn money for college. He had just graduated as a civil engineer when he drown while fly fishing with his friends. He had just turned twenty-one. My dad said women from all around Northumberland County came to his funeral to mourn the handsome and intriguing John Douglas.
Genevieve has dreamed about him all her life, but it isn’t until she buys his violin and finds the remnants of his life and the mystery of his death in 1927 within its case, that she makes a decision that will change her life forever. Is there a way to change the past and save the man who haunts her heart?
He wasn’t quite the hero from a romance novel but he was charming in his own way, Genevieve thought. He made her laugh. Mostly, he made her insides churn all up. He would say the sweetest things and then ruin it by just infuriating her. She was sure there was no one like him, not ever.
He took her out of her comfort zone, away from safety. He made her step to the edge of her ability to cope, then convinced her in his own enchanting way to take just one more step. But he always took the step with her.
He made her nervous. She couldn’t look at John without her heart racing and blood surging through her veins out of control. He was turning her world upside down.
She looked across the table at him as his eyes gazed into hers, almost as if he could read her thoughts. She felt the crimson tide of blood race up to her cheeks and neck in an embarrassing blush.
This was everything she had ever feared. And hoped. This man, this attraction, this feeling.
She was in another time and didn’t know how she got there, didn’t know how she would get back to her own time, and even worse, didn’t know if she wanted to get back to her own time. She didn’t understand any of it.
She did know one thing and it came to her like a blinking neon sign; she was head over heels crazy in love with John Douglas. It terrified her. She didn’t really know him. They had just met. Her insides were rambling out of control.
John reached under the table, pried her clenched hands loose, and took her right hand in his warm, comforting grasp. He leaned across the table, peered into her eyes and said, ever so softly, “Don’t be afraid. Every thing's going to be all right.”