Writing from the Heart

Writing from the heart is something I believe writers always attempt. Writing is a very organic and visceral process with real, and all too often challenging, mental exercises thrown in for good measure. When you add on top of that writing from the heart then you have a lot to deal with.

Part of the problem I am having with this nove is I cannot find a way to write it from the heart. I have the entire story in my head. I know every character and every motivation. But I cannot find a way to express that. No matter how hard I try I keep failing. Is it because I know the story too well and there doesn’t appear to be room for experimentation? I don’t believe it. I’ve been writing long enough to know better.

When I look at what I have written it seems dense to me. What I mean is, not necessarily overwritten, but not able to free flow. I know there’s a key to this. I also know maybe I am not ready to write this story. Maybe I will never be.

I have to find a way to write this from the heart. As it reads now it’s stilted and cold. Something like that not only will never be published, it doesn’t deserve to be published.

It’s like every other western story out there. And we’ve seen enough of those. Let someone else write that story. Not me.

There’s a key in there somewhere. I am determined to find it. Maybe I need to throw it all away and start completely over. Not use any of what I have written so far (100 pages) and start completely over. I am beginning to move in that direction. I’ve tried everything else. Kind of scary because of all the work I’ve done so far and then if I try this what if I fail again?

I mean…again? Let’s face something else here. I’m obviously trying too hard. Nothing but frustration will come of that.

All I have now are shadows. I want the heart.


Sometimes writing from the heart has all the substance as shadows....

10 Replies to “Writing from the Heart”

  1. What if you just write what’s in your head? Get it out first, then maybe the heart will follow? I always start with a rough draft. No emotion, no depth, just story. I add that after, when I know how it’s going to look. πŸ™‚

    1. No, that I cannot do. I don’t dump write. I tend to write more carefully. I know what you’re talking about and it works for some, but hasn’t brought me much luck, recently.

      I think I am going to go with the first POV. I think that is right.

  2. What I do when I get stuck like that is to put the story aside for a little while and write something else, short stories or something. I don’t think writing can be forced. Let the novel simmer in your subconscious for a while and come back to it after a couple of weeks. That’s just what works for me though, all writers are different.

    1. This is for Kenneth; Okay, I know what you’re going through because I’ve been there. It took me 3.5 years, off and on, to overcome my problem. I finally just wrote what came into my head and amended it later. Finish the first draft, put it away for two months (at least), then read it again. Send it to a writer friend, one you respect, to critique, but only after two months, so to put a little distance between you and the manuscript, and tell that friend he or she can be truthful. I’m still not there with the manuscript I’m working on now, and so have decided to, maybe, write a novella and two short stores.
      Do you meditate? That may help, Julia Robb

  3. Here’s one thing which helped me when I was struggling. I read every book on writing, and writers, I could get my hands on. My favorite was John Gardner’s “On Becoming a Novelist.” Here’s a quote from that book. “What the best fiction does is make powerful affirmations of familiar truths…the trivial fiction which time filters out is that which either makes wrong affirmations or else makes affirmations in a squeaky little voice. Powerful affirmation comes from strong intellect and strong emotions supported by adequate technique.”

    1. I’ve had people look at it and their suggestions have been very helpful. This seems to be something more fundamental but maybe I have finally figured out something. I think I am going to try first POV.

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