It’s interesting to me to think that we may each have one facet of our emotions that “informs our writing,” as Ben Elton seems to imply. For him, it’s love. Love is the strongest thing he’s ever felt, and that gives a unique character to his writing. But what about the rest of us? What emotions might leave their stamp like fingerprints on other authors’ writings?
For me, personally, the strongest emotion I have ever felt is sadness. It’s not that I’ve felt sadness more often than any other emotion; it’s simply that I’ve felt it… more. Truthfully, my life has been extremely happy. There’s been an abundance of joy, love, and gratitude. But I’ve felt grief more deeply than joy. Tears have left a longer-lasting impression than laughter. Sadness tends to wrap a fist around me, while joy feels more like a gentle hand on my shoulder—no matter how great that joy may be.
To give an example: as a Christian, I can say that I’m more emotionally impacted by the crucifixion than the Ressurection. One of my favorite bible verses is the simple, two-word phrase, “Jesus wept.” The idea of God coming to earth and dying strikes me more than the idea that I will go to heaven and live eternally.
That all may sound depressing and macabre, but the thing is, it isn’t. I don’t wallow. I don’t enjoy being sad and I’m not fascinated by inherently sad things. Despair isn’t in my nature; in fact, I’m probably the most dogged optimist you’ll ever meet. Grief has so much beauty to me because it’s so closely intertwined with hope. Incredible things can grow out of horrible circumstances, which makes them even more incredible. That is what leaves a lasting impression on me; that is what informs my writing. It’s undeniable: grief and hope together make my stories what they are; when you read them, that’s ultimately what you see. And that’s okay in my book.
Today’s Prompt: What emotion do you feel the most strongly? Identify it and then write a story in which that one emotion is completely absent.