5 April 2013 - 12:49 pm

Random Writing Tip #2: Bleed

The writer's instrument. (Picture by AMagill)

The writer’s instrument. Play it hard.
(Picture by AMagill)

I’m currently watching the Angel TV series again. In it, there’s a character called Lorne, who can read the destinies of people when they sing, because people open themselves up when they make music.

Writers sing every time they make words; they open themselves up and make everyone who looks their way into a heart-reading Lorne*. They lay themselves bare and invite insight, scrutiny, and empathy.

Writers are damn brave people.

So be brave.

Show your readers exactly how your characters feel; to do that, you have to draw on the emotions from inside you. You have to reach inside to find authenticity and show the world what you’ve got.

Take your heart in your hand and slice it all over the page. Bleed.

You don’t have to shock people. You don’t have to show them your eviscerated self, entrails gleaming in the spotlight. But you can, if that’s what you have to say. And if that’s what you have to say, you should.

The smallest drop of blood can be enough. But it has to be real blood. You can’t use corn syrup and hope the audience doesn’t notice, because they will. Real blood is thick and sticky, and stains.

Don’t hedge. Don’t dilute the flow or soften the blows. Don’t hold back: pour yourself into your work. Make it raw and strong, whether it’s pain or passion, love or loss, rage or R-rated.

Take chances. Write the things you want to in your most secret of hearts, no matter what anyone might think. You might slip and fall. You might cut yourself in the process. But that’s okay. You pick yourself up and learn, for next time. Because you might write something real and vibrant and beating on the page. You might truly touch someone.

Be brave. Be you. Show us what runs through your heart.

Bleed on the page for us.

(* Yes, I just called readers green-skinned, red-eyed, horned demons. But Lorne’s totally fabulous, too.)

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  1. Nick says:

    The mirror strikes again. You say we’re brave, but I just said we’re wonderfully burdened (and lucky to be so) – yet I can see a definite common ground between those two viewpoints too.

    April 7th, 2013 at 9:19 am

  2. Mel says:

    The two idea certainly don’t cancel each other out. 🙂 Yours is about how to keep the writing fresh and moving; this is says that you should keep it raw and real. How and what. And always, always, moving us on to better, brighter writing.

    April 8th, 2013 at 10:42 am

  3. Nick says:

    I guess that’s why we both blog about this – because of the possibility that it will encourage better writing in the future. It would be great to one day hear back from somebody that said “I find what you said really helpful. Actually applied it!”

    April 8th, 2013 at 11:06 am

  4. Mel says:

    Yup. Through the discovery that is writing, it’s always good to share knowledge. I love getting messages that let me know I’ve helped someone. 🙂

    April 8th, 2013 at 6:03 pm