Tag Archives: emotion

Rampage Writing–Taking a Stand for Your Opinion


Warning–Adult language

The lesson today came about after reading Damantigui’s Blog. He is a world traveler–both business and pleasure. He is seasoned in life, culture, and observation. When one is seasoned, one is unafraid to share criticism. Damantigui doesn’t suffer fools lightly.

In a moment, I am posting an excerpt from a recent rampage on Damantigui’s Blog.

First, let’s discuss where rampage writing is useful: on the Op Ed page of the newspaper (dwindling market?), in political speech writing (seasonal work and hard to get?), in dialogue (movie and television scripts, books, plays–better) and, finally, on the soapbox (think of the public square of today: the blog or jokes for comedians. Ahhh, now we’re getting somewhere).

Rampage writing is persuasion on steroids. It’s purpose is to modify the views of the reader by hyperbole, education and/or intimidation. Humor helps. When slapping someone, it helps if you can get them laughing about it.

Enter Damantigui, aided by George Carlin.

The following example of rampaging is extracted from his November 8 post titled “Truth Teller.” In it, he(via George Carlin) challenges the necessity of the Save the Earth movement, among others.

We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Thank God for that. Maybe a little styrofoam. Maybe. A little styrofoam. The planet will be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas. A surface nuisance.
You wanna know how the planet is doing? Ask those people at Pompeii, who are frozen into position from volcanic ash, “How the planet’s doing?”  You wanna know if the planet’s all right, ask those people in Mexico City or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble, if they feel like a threat to the planet this week. Or how about those people in Kilowaia, Hawaii, who built their homes right next to an active volcano, and then wonder why they have lava in the living room.
The planet will be here for a long, long —LONG— time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself; it will cleanse itself, because that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover; the earth will be renewed; and, if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the Earth plus plastic!  The Earth doesn’t share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the Earth. The Earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children.
Could be the only reason the Earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old philosophical question, “Why are we here?”  “Plastic! Assholes.”

http://damantigui.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/truth-teller-en/

Fizzies


Who remembers Fizzies?

I used to pop the tablets into my mouth and wait for the explosion of effervescence. Crazy kid.

So what’s the point of talking about Fizzies?

Products from childhood are tied to memories. The memories are tied to experiences. Experiences are tied to feelings, images, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations.

When writing about a specific event, draw on memories of a similar occasion to vividly imagine the scene. What do you hear, smell, taste, sense? It is these sensory details that bring the scene to life and make it real for the reader.

Sometimes the silly little details — like the explosive fizz and flavor of a Fizzies tablet boiling on your tongue –ignite the reader’s own memories. Those personal sensations meld with the words of the author to conjure a vivid experience in the reader’s imagination. The stronger the link between memory in real life and the imagined scene penned on the page, the more pleasure for your reader. The setting comes alive with sensory stimulation.

The brain cannot separate emotionally charged imagination and the real thing. It reacts to both equally. That’s why intense romantic scenes arouse and woefully sad ones evoke tears. The emotions conjured are the same whether the source event is real or fictitious.

So before you create a scene, recollect your own reactions and observations surrounding a similar circumstance in your past. Then write with those feelings fresh in your mind.

Emotional Intelligence in Writing


As an author, I create characters. I also have to understand, or get inside, my character, in order to bring the character to life.  I have to know what makes a character tick; to know, to act and to feel as the character does – to translate how feelings impact actions. This ability is called emotional intelligence. I use it, and my characters use it.

Maybe the words of others will make this principle clearer:

David Caruso:  “It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head — it is the unique intersection of both.” –From (“Emotional What?”)

Peter Salovey:  “I think in the coming decade we will see well-conducted research demonstrating that emotional skills and competencies predict positive outcomes at home with one’s family, in school, and at work.” –From “Emotional What?” EQ Today

Freedman et al.:  “Emotional Intelligence is a way of recognizing, understanding, and choosing how we think, feel, and act. . . Research suggests it is responsible for as much as 80% of the “success” in our lives.” –From Handle With Care: Emotional Intelligence Activity Book

(Note from Fay – I think my ability to use emotional intelligence in story telling is responsible for 80% of my reader’s buying into my character. What keeps a reader going is his care about what happens to the character, as much as his interest in the story line.)

John Gottman:  “In the last decade or so, science has discovered a tremendous amount about the role emotions play in our lives. Researchers have found that even more than IQ, your emotional awareness and abilities to handle feelings will determine your success and happiness in all walks of life, including family relationships.” –From Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

(Note from Fay – You have to address emotional awareness and abilities in character development.  Without it, a character is flat. Based on the quote above, a character without emotional intelligence is unsuccessful in relationships and unhappy. Unless all of your characters are socially inept, you have to manage a character’s emotional intelligence.)

Salovey, Mayer, Goldman, Turvey, and Palfai:  “People in good moods are better at inductive reasoning and creative problem solving.”From Emotion, Disclosure, and Health, 1995

Mayer & Salovey:  “People high in emotional intelligence are expected to progress more quickly through the abilities designated and to master more of them.” –From “What is Emotional Intelligence” in Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence: Educational Implications, by Peter Salovey and David Sluyter. 1997

(Note from Fay: Character development has to ring true to reality. Your characters who are in healthy relationships with others will also have an abundance of emotional intelligence.)