Thursday, May 14, 2015

Orchestrating a Manuscript

Orchestrating the Manuscript

While watching an older movie, Last of the Mohicans, I had turned to a
channel that I was unfamiliar with. The sound quality was horrid on this
channel and so was the video. I continued watching for a bit, as I knew
the movie so well, but soon realized that without the audio, without the
original music that went into the making of that movie I no longer wanted
to watch the movie. It had lost something, it had lost it's orchestrating power
over my emotions and in turn lost me as a viewer.

However, I flipped the channels and found the same movie on another channel
with great audio, and video and watched it all over again, even though I had just
watched part of it on another channel. What does this tell us? (That I'm a movie freak)
Well, yes I am, but it tells us that we seek to feel, when entertained. Whether it
is music itself, or conveying it. It must evoke reaction in the reader or movie goer.

As I got to thinking about it, I realized as a writer that without all the powerful
tools we use on paper to create emotions, compassion, and overall feelings in our
stories, we would soon lose our readers if we don't convey those feelings to the reader.

Imagine watching Jaws, and there is no eerie music, leading up to the shark attacking.
Would it have the same impact on you. Of course it wouldn't. In Halloween, it's that
dramatic sound that builds the suspense of Michael Myers. So in movies, music is of
the utmost importance. Even though, most of the time we don't even realize how important
it is.

As writers we only have words to convey all of this to the reader. There is no music unless the reader imagines it themselves. But if we don't build those dramatic scenes with facial expressions, showing action as an emotion, or words that bring out the emotion, then we can close the reader.

When you write, "he was mad." That conveys very little to your reader. The readers is wondering how mad. But when your write, "He pounded the desk until his knuckles bled." You have no doubt how mad he is.

In writng and reading, I find the hero that cups a cheek, and stares into her eyes, or strokes her hair and kisses her head softly, to be heartwarming and gentle. It shows you what kind of lover this man is going to be.

In the Last of the Mohicans, when Hawkeye tells Cora her father died, he holds her and allows her to express her emotion. What was her emotion? Did you see her fist beat against his back in pure agony as she held on tight to him? And then again, sometimes, it's the dialogue that creates the emotions, as when Cora said, "Is there nothing left for us?" Did you feel her defeat, her sadness?

When a writer writes, all the arts are used. Music, art istself, scenery, colors, all convey feelings in us. We have to use those feelings to convey it to our readers, or they might change the channel. 

Thanks and God bless.


Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Rita. I LOVED The Last of the Mohicans. When they were at the waterfall and he had to leave to protect her and said (paraphrasing here): "I will be back for you." OMG, I fell in love. What a guy!

You're right about having to express emotions on paper. Filmmakers have music and visuals in addition to words. All we have are words. At times, I don't think there are enough words in the English language to convey what I'm trying to express.

Redameter said...

Tina, I know for a fact that you use your emotions well, and convey real feelings into your characters. I've read your work, and never doubt that you are a good writer. But yes, I know what you are saying too. Sometimes you wonder if although you can feel everything inside you as you write it, if the reader picks up on it. I too strive for this balance and when we do manage to completely succeed, We know it by the readers response. Strangely I learned my biggest lesson through a rejection letter I received many years ago when I first began writing that I was too graphic, meaning, there wasn't enough emotion, or feel to the read. Ever since, I have tried in every way to convey feelings and emotions to my readers. It's a hard job, and a good writer learns to do this by always remembering that we only have words to convey what we really mean. Thanks to our readers...