In creative writing, truth isn’t everything, but emotional truth almost is. Whatever the genre, however familiar or strange the situation or action, readers need to believe that the emotions in a piece of writing are true. And nothing conveys emotional truth more powerfully than mixed feelings. Combining different emotions, including conflicting emotions, can strengthen their intensity as well as deepening our sense of their authenticity. In this talk and conversation we will explore some of the ways in which mixed feelings work, looking at examples from various genres and considering occasions when mixing emotions might fail us.
When we’re learning to write (the learning that takes a lifetime), it’s smart to focus on high-percentage moves, choices most likely to result in writing that will engage, convince, and move the reader. It’s worth remembering, however, that sometimes things normally worth avoiding perversely succeed. This Eleventh Hour will look at some examples of that phenomenon, in hopes of understanding both why the bad bet was bad, and what might account for its unexpectedly paying off.
Episode 16: Lon Otto: "Touchstones, Templates, & The Train Tracks Your Mule's On"
The Writing University Podcast
No one writes who hasn't read, and we all know, at least vaguely, that reading as a writer is a distinctive as well as essential part of the writing life. This Elevenses tries to sort out some of the very different, even contradictory things that are involved in reading as a writer.