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How to write fiction | moods

Sunshine 051

Some of the articles and blogs that I read are by amateurs and some by professionals. The amateurs often write better than the professionals. I read a couple by the same writer that were truly awful this week. The quality of writing, whether it is fiction or non-fiction, does vary a lot; depending on the mood of the writer. The writer that I read this week was obviously under a lot of stress and struggling. When we write fiction, we must be totally committed to the story and not distracted by personal problems.

Some problems in society can make us passionate about writing though and help us to produce great works. Charles Dickens was very aware of the problems of poverty in Victorian society and wrote great stories that live on long after his life has ended. He felt very strongly about exploitation and was also very aware of the class divisions in English society. In Great Expectations, he wrote about Pip going to London to become a gentleman and he also had other stories of people escaping from poverty. He had very memorable characters like Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Ebenezer Scrooge.

Jane Austen came from a upper middle class family that had made their money from trade and she too had strong views that motivated her to write about the structure of society and the problems in society. Her concerns in real life show through in the fiction that she wrote. I’m not sure what this says about modern writers, who write erotic fiction, such as ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.

Our environment influences our writing and many writers are aware of this and try to find a place conducive to writing to live; like Paris. We put a lot of our lives and experiences into writing fiction. The fiction we write, says a lot about us. Our moods also show in what we write. I think Charles Dickens was quite a unhappy person. Jane Austen seemed anxious about the world she lived in. Shakespeare seemed quite obsessed and produced complex, but brilliant works. I think he had a fascination with words.

We can change our moods by looking for inspiration or changing our environment. We don’t have to go and live in Paris. My picture today is the local park and wandering around there taking photographs changed my mood a little yesterday. It also inspired me a little. It’s a Victorian park and you can just see the lodge in the picture and Victorian style railings. It’s the sort of place that Dickens might have enjoyed and perhaps watched  being landscaped.

Fiction is about people and places and if we are to write about people and places we must experience them. We must go out and meet people, talk to them; listen to them and above all else learn from them and observe. We must also carefully observe and become involved in the places that we visit. I went to a very old Manor house at the weekend and wandered around taking photographs. In the bed chamber was a four poster bed of the type that Shakespeare would have spelt in. It reminded me of Shakespeare’s last will and testament in which he left his ‘best bed’ to his wife, Anne Hathaway.

Writer’s often complain of writer’s block. It is simply lack of inspiration or sometimes they have not thought enough about their story. A story leads somewhere and many writers wander down that path wondering where it will lead to. The truth is, it leads anywhere you can imagine that it would lead. But without inspiration, the imagination can be unmotivated and flat and the mind then seems to go blank. Wandering around the park or even the garden can be a good idea at times like that. Wandering around a place that pertains to the story that you’re writing is even better.

Can you recognise the influences that inspired me to write this blog? There are more amazing blogs on the home page that you might like. I need a lot more readers before this site becomes viable and so please share with your friends on Facebook if you find these blogs useful.

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  1. Pingback: How to write a novel | places « Mike10613's Blog

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