When I’m particularly moved by a story (or piece of music, which is still a story), I find it amazing. That someone could create something so rich that it makes me hold my breath or cry is astounding.
We watched The Greatest Showman tonight, our second time seeing it. And I cried, and laughed, and believed wholeheartedly in the romance just as I did before. When it ended I was emotionally drained in the best way. And then we watched the extras… you should definitely do that.
It’s making me think about characters and the way we build them. About conflict and the way overcoming it takes us into the character’s emotional journey in such a beautiful and empathetic way. In the extras, watch the actor who plays the bearded lady sing in a rehearsal. Then listen to what she has to say about being able to bring her personal struggle into that character. It’s absolutely no wonder how she could capture an audience with This is Me.
So, that’s my writing advice this month. Dig deeper. FEEL what your character is feeling. Understand it on the deepest level you can, and don’t hold back. Don’t head hop and skim the surface by bouncing back and forth. Stay with them, get under their skin, and give them the time to feel the feels. Bring all that stuff to the page. Make your reader cry. Make them laugh.
Make them believe.