My back’s constricted, my shoulders hunched. My eyes hurt. Yet I still keep typing, frantically trying to record the words of the speaker.
It’s the “The Emotional Craft of Fiction” workshop in Irvine, California. Writer and agent Donald Maass is teaching us writers the tools for how to put more emotion into a novel.
That’s what I want to do. More than anything in the world. I hear the voices of historical women and I want to tell readers a story that will make their hearts sing. A story that’ll move them. Maybe–only if I’m very, very lucky–these stories will impact their lives.
Just like those classical novels that impacted me: Gone with the Wind, Jubilee Trail, and Rebecca.
That’s why I flew 1,000 miles to atttend this writing workshop. Why I spent over 17 hours listening, reflecting, and taking notes, until my brain was so mushy I couldn’t process a single thought.
Yet every day of the seminar I rose at 5:30 am so I could think about writing this kind of novel. Every day I came to the conference room early, long before anyone else showed up, so I could organize my notes.
I worked hard to get all I could from the workshop because I want a novel that evokes great emotion. It’s what I want more than anything.