Friday, January 31, 2014

Intelligences and Senses Part 3

Once again, our focus on intelligences and senses highlights ways to make our "showing" more telling.  In other words, by paying attention to the way our details highlight ways our brains work, thereby moving our writing from merely descriptive to poignant and powerful.

This time, we are going to focus on the kinesthetic portion of our writing.  By the kinesthetic portion, I mean anything that gives us insight into the body or movement.  The two are discreetly different, but both can reveal volumes about your story.

Issues of the Body:

In Romans, Paul writes:

For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. (Romans 7:14-15)

Now, I don't want to get spiritual here, but this description accurately details one of the central conflicts in our stories--our desire to do one thing with our minds and our body's desire to do another.  You can amplify the conflict in your story through the awareness of what your body desires and what you desire.  Obviously, we find the most common use of this dissonance in romance novels where the hero or heroine commonly attempts to stay away from trouble.  But we also find great use of this dissonance in stories of trying to stay up, trying to achieve a difficult task.

Other times, the body and mind are in agreement on an issue, but the use of the body's cues can still emphasize a moment.

Issues of Movement:
 The process of movement itself can greatly enhance a story.  How do you move through the house when you come in?  How does that movement change if you're returning in the afternoon or late at night?  Nearly every mystery novel has a sneaking scene--and the sneaking adds to the suspense!  But issues of movement need not be confined to sneaking.  Think about the ways you choose to drive--on back roads, on main roads, zigging back and forth, staying in one lane, etc.  Each decision says something about your mood and who you are, and these insights can add meaning to your story.

Write a new piece or revise an old one to emphasize the kinesthetic aspect of a portion of the story.

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