Friday, September 18, 2009

Emotions: Fuels a smooth ride

I remember a friend who sat in front of his computer for hours and stared at the blinking cursor. There were only a few words typed on the screen. I watched him switch the words, trying to make the sentence as perfect as it could be. He was trying to write a convincing proposal for the company to grant his program another year of funding.WICKEDPROPOSAL1 He was a college graduate with years of experience working for the advocacy program. But he couldn’t convey his message, what he wanted to say. Why? Because all his attention was diverted to his empty words. He didn’t tap into his emotions and in the process faced the trouble of rules. The grammar rules.


Of course, when writing a memo, report, resume, etc. you must have clean, free of error sentences. But there comes a time when one should free himself of the restrictions of rules. Especially when writing a story. Now, where am I going with this blog? Let me tell you. Someone said that I write my draft so fast. Perhaps. But if you look at my draft, it is not without flaws. When I write, I write what my own feelings dictate. I immerse myself with the character’s emotion without bothering with the tags or whether I wrote the sentences the right way. There is no formula that I follow. Yes, you must have the THREECHRISTMASKISSES (3) skill to write. But for me, that is just the tool to help express my feelings. Without emotions, there is nothing to write. Start with your feelings. Perfection comes later.

If you disagree, please feel free to jump in. Leave your comments.


I write about people falling in love (I’m addicted to the idea :) ). Each time I write a book, my hope is for the readers to feel the characters strong emotions, to see them as more than fictional, to be able to relate to the turmoil, love, frustration or whatever the hero and heroine is facing at the time.




I am aware that every person sees the world differently. Care to share your view?


Tierney O’Malley


Carrie said...

Hey Tierney,

You know, people seem to have the most difficult time writing professional documents because they feel that emotion must be left out of it.

However, in my studies, I have found that my best professional documents came from a sense of emotion. The power and strength of my words came from my ability to say what I mean and to say it well.

Empty words are just that, empty, but when you put emotion and feeling into them, other people can see that, even into a professional document.

courtneybreazile said...

I write similarly. It is all go go go while its hot, then when i feel a little stuck i go back, edit re-read smooth things out until i get inspired to continue the story again. Sometimes I get through the entire thing without going back, sometimes i am going back every couple of pages, just depends on how well my muse is playing with me that day :)

Mark Alders said...

Great post, Tierney!

And very true. I write and write with no turning back, letting my muse guide me, not caring about mistakes. Then, once I have written my first draft I forget it. After a few weeks/months or so, that's when I begin editing. I have about five or six books at one time on the go like this. Some at the frantic writing stage, others at the calm, calculated editing stage.

For me my editing brain and my writing brain are two different beasts and require separate skills. To write you need to understand the emotion, the flow, the ways of the word, as you have said. To edit you need to be a reader, taking in the words as though they were being read for the first time. That way, hopefully, things will translate well when the story is actually out there :-)



MK Mancos/Kathleen Scott/Kate Davison said...

I have found some of my best writing has been when I just let it flow. I have also found some of my worst writing in the same place. For me the difference is "forces." - If I force the story or the characters, it's crap. Plain and simple. If I let them unwind naturally they tend to find their own beat, pace or course. However, that doesn't mean I always let my characters get free reign though. I'm still the boss. : )

Great post, Teirney!


Tierney O'Malley said...

Hey there Carrie,

Whew! Been outside helping my husband finish painting the northside of the house. Now, we are done. Thank you so much for stopping by. Oh, I agree. Emotions should be present in books, professional letters or speeches. If you want a good reaction, gotta have the emotion. :D

Tierney O'Malley said...

Hi Courtney!
I tried the fixing right away style once. I never tried it again. I ended up losing my line of thoughts and worst I couldn't put myself in the heroine's position. The feeling wasn't there.

Glad you made it here. :D


Tierney O'Malley said...

Hey Mark,

"For me my editing brain and my writing brain are two different beasts and require separate skills."

Oh I love this! I totally agree. I remember talking to someone from school. She's an editor, but couldn't write. I wonder if she was always using her editing brain and couldn't switch to writing brain.

Tierney O'Malley said...

Hi Kate,

I found an old draft saved on my floppy. Remember the colored floppy disks? :D Tried to rewrite it and forced the characters to do my bidding. :D Like you said, the outcome was crap. I haven't given up on this sucker, though. I think the story has a chance. I'll give it one more try. We shall see.

Sierra Wolfe said...

I don't believe you can write a rough draft too fast. That's what it is, a rough draft. You can always go back and edit it later. That's actually the whole point behind the "Fast Draft" Challenge. I've written 20 pages per day doing the fast draft. Maybe they weren't great, but so what. That's what the editing phase is all about.

Mark, I couldn't agree with you more. I actually have trouble switching back and forth between my editing brain and my writing brain. I can't seem to do both things at the same time. If I'm working on editing a story, I can't just switch over to writing on another one. I've tried. After I've been doing one for a while, then I have to take a break (usually at least days, if not weeks) before I can even think of switching over. This is especially true if I'm going from editing to writing. The editing process seems to kill my creativity.

Mark Alders said...

Thanks, Sierra! I think that's why some people can't write as Tierney mentioned. Both editing and writing are skills that require different disciplines.

Now maths for me...yikes! My brain just won't go there! LOL



Wendy_Ely said...

I write fast too, Tierney. It amazes my critique partners but there's always lots of stuff to fix afterwards.

I also edit one book while writing one book.

Tierney O'Malley said...

Mark, I hate Math! :D

LOL Wendy. My draft gave me a headache. I finished the darn thing but I must have been asleep when I wrote it.

You edit a book while writing another? I can beat you there. I write my draft while watching a movie. LOL I'm a nut.

Amy De Trempe said...

The first drafts of anything I write, whether it be in my WIP or at work, are always a mess. I just want to get my thoughts and feelings out and I start fixing the errors in the edits. If I edited as I went, nothing would be finished.

Gracen Miller said...

"I write about people falling in love (I’m addicted to the idea :) ). Each time I write a book, my hope is for the readers to feel the characters strong emotions, to see them as more than fictional, to be able to relate to the turmoil, love, frustration or whatever the hero and heroine is facing at the time."

Such lovely, true words, Tierney, and mirrors my own thoughts, my own life, and the way I see the world and the writing craft.

I forget who mentioned it above, but I write and write and then when I lose my flow, my voice, and my muse needs a reboot, I will go back through what I have just written and edit. That seems to jumpstart my muse back into the flow of the writing.

I agree though, a rough draft is just that. Now that I'm doing edits on my book, Elfin Blood, I didn't realize all the rules I was breaking and how little I knew about writing and editing. I've got an amazing editor who is teaching me some awesome information and I'm very thankful.

*bites nails* I hope she doesn't edit my comments here. LOL ;-)

Great post, Tierney! Very thought provoking and YAY for finishing up with the painting! Been there, done that and I hope I'm not there anytime soon. *shudders at the thought* My husband and I do NOT work well together.

Tierney O'Malley said...


Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, I always lay down the foundation first when I write. Adding colorful stuff to make it pretty comes after. :D

Tierney O'Malley said...


Congrats on the Elfin Blood. The title is so catchy. Is Elfin the name of the character or a group/clan? You don't have to tell me if it is a secret. :D

Edits maybe a pain in the ass sometimes, but working with an editor is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Tierney O'Malley said...

Hey Sierra girl!

How was Ambers birthday? And how are you?

Gracen Miller said...

"Elfin" is no big secret. The heroine, Julija, is an Ivory Elf and the hero is a Crimson Elf (a/k/a vampire), so basically that's where "elfin" came from.

Working with an editor has been great! Getting the feedback on my writing and why it should or shouldn't be written a particular way, it's awesome learning how to become a better writer! At least I hope that's what I'm learning. lol

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