The Important Stuff

A Beginning

A story has to begin somewhere. If you've ever played a RPG then you know that many stories start in taverns. How else are you to gather...

Monday, July 10, 2017

Writing to Invoke Emotions

The other day I was writing a scene for episode 3 and I cried. It wasn’t the first time I’ve written something emotional, nor the first time I’ve cried while writing, or even role playing. Though I do think it was the longest I felt those emotions while creating. I didn’t completely recover until I had finished the scene. Took a well deserved facebook break when I was done.

I can only hope that the emotions I felt came across in my writing. I want my readers to have a visceral reaction to things that are frightening, sad, horrifying, disturbing, and more. I want them to feel some of the emotions I felt while writing.

In the past I have been told I made people tear up, and at least one person said I gave them shivers. That I think is a bigger compliment than just someone saying they enjoyed what I wrote. I want my words on the page to invoke emotions. That is just as important as simply telling an entertaining story.

As some may know a lot of my characters have been role play characters. A lot of them show up in multiple scenarios as I toyed with their personalities and what worked for them and what didn’t. Last year I wrote a villain for a good friend’s forum. Unfortunately I was unable to keep up with my commitments due to various issues, primarily depression. I am on an upswing finally and able to be productive again. At the moment though I’m focusing on my novel characters than my Role Play characters. I am looking forward to taking a small break when I’ve finished this first novel of Lucas’s adventures. I miss role playing.

That said the story line for that particular villain and his accomplices is being wrapped up. I provided some help with dialogue and then wrote some letters from his perspective to two of those he felt he hurt the most.

Small spoiler warning for The Empire of Shenendril. Joseph, Joanna, and Roderick are characters that will feature prominently in the series and will share some plot points that are mentioned in the two letters. Reginald was created only for this forum and will not be in Shenendril.

Here are two of the letters from Reginald Abernathy to those he hurt as he faces the eve of his execution.:

**********

The hand that wrote the letters shook. At times the words were nearly illegible as ink smeared. Spots of wetness, now dry, dotted the letter addressed to his son. Reginald included his signet ring with that letter. The last two letters he had better control of his emotion if not his hand.

My son.

I know not what you have been told of my crimes. If the word came from your Uncle then you should know them to be true. I failed you. I failed the family name. I failed the Kingdom. I do not write this letter to ask you to forgive me. It is too late for that. I write this to tell you all the things I should have said before.

I am proud of you son. I know I never said that enough. From the time you were born. To the first time you road your pony Jack. To your first win in the practice ring. The first time you struck the center with your arrow. To now. You grow into a better man than I could ever be. When the time comes I know you will lead the House with wisdom and humility. Your Uncle’s teachings will see to that.

Listen well to your Uncle. He can teach you things I never could. He will teach you how to be brave in the face of adversity. He will teach you patience. He will teach you how to be humble. He will teach you how to be kind. He will teach you how to be gentle while still strong. From him you will learn all you need to know to lead the House. To be a good man. In time a good father.

My son. I wish I had been the father you deserved. All of my failings are made right in you. You will go where I cannot. A time of darkness comes. Forces that wish nothing more than to extinguish the light gather now in preparation. But know you carry that light within you. No matter how dark the day, no matter how fraught the battle. As long as you live there will be light in the world. Share that light with others. Let them know that love and light can win against the darkness. I know you can do this. Your light has always been so very bright it hurt my eyes to look upon you. Carry that with you always and the forces of life will never be conquered.

Roderick. My son. I love you. I always loved you. My greatest regret is that I did not tell you this when we had the opportunity to see and touch one another. If only I could see your eyes one more time. Your Mother’s eyes. I can now see how much better it was that you were always more like her than I. I regret I was so blind for so long.

My fervent hope for you my son is that in time you forget me. Do not honor my name. Cross it from the family histories. Do not think upon me fondly. I was callous. I was cruel. I squandered all that was good and pure in my life. I will go to my death knowing that this is what I deserve. Forget me my son. You are now Joseph’s son. He always was the better Father to you. It was he who kissed your brow when you fell and hurt yourself. It was he who sat you in his lap and read tales of daring and adventure to make your eyes alight with joy. It was he who comforted you when your Mother died.

He deserves your love, not I.

Farewell Roderick. I wish I were worthy of you.

With fondest regards.

Reginald Abernathy

**********

Joseph,

I have always been a damn fool. I hated you for all the wrong reasons. I blamed you for Mother’s passing, though she had always been weak of body. I blamed you when Grandfather chose you over me as his heir, though it was my cowardice which he spurned. You have always been the wiser of us. I wish I had listened to you when you tried to counsel me against foolish actions.

Please take care of Roderick. Raise him to be a better man than I. Raise him to know right from wrong. Do not allow him to imagine me a better man than I ever was. Always give him the unvarnished truth about me, let him see all of my evils so that he won’t follow me down this path. Please keep him from making the same mistakes I did. You are the better Father than I was ever capable of being.

Roderick is already your heir. Make him your son. All I want is for my name to be forgotten, unless it is as a lesson of what not to do. If there is one thing I have always been good at my brother, it is being a good example of how not to act. Teach my son the things I refused to learn because of my selfishness and vanity.

These weeks of my confinement have given me great lengths of time to look back on my life. I have inspected every mistake I have made. All of the problems I had which I foisted off onto the backs of others to relieve me of their burden. They were my mistakes. My faults. I know that now.

Facing my mortality has shown me truths I never dared acknowledge before. I regret I only now learn these things when it is too late.

And one more thing. Joanna is a good match for you. You should openly acknowledge your marriage. Haven’t you kept that secret long enough? Of course I knew. I could see the way you looked at her. The love in your eyes when you thought no one was looking. The timber of your voice changed when you spoke her name, even if it was only to talk about military matters. You’re the High Seat of House Abernathy. You can obviously marry whoever you damn well please. Acknowledge your love. Let everyone see the light that shines between the two of you. The world is going to need that light very soon.

With warmest regards

Reginald

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