Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rattle Readers: Make 'em weep

Hi folks, I'm continuing my series about called Rattle Readers. I'm exploring the emotional landscape of books, and this week I'm going to chat about how to make readers cry.

I'm a bit of  faucet, so I don't think it is that hard to make me cry. That said, I think the stack of books that have made me cry is higher than for most folks. A few come to mind: Neil Gamain's THE GRAVEYARD BOOK (I cried because in way aren't we all growing up in a graveyard seeking a life), Holly Cupala's DON'T BREATHE A WORD (I cried for Santos), and SACRED SCARS by Kathleen Duey (I cried for Sadima when she finds love after her memory is ripped away by Somiss.)  I'm moved by emotion on the page. I'm  not always sad when I cry, but I am changed forever. I don't forget these moments. I find some truth on the page that I have always known but never had words for. You will rattle readers to tears if you place truth on the page.

I believe that books make me cry when authors are honest and write down the stuff that terrifies them, breaks their heart, or when they write something that is taboo to say. This takes bravery. You must write what you won't say. You must reveal those hidden secrets of the heart. You must suffer.  I mean the best books show that the human condition is fraught with suffering. We are fragile, so fragile, and with ease can be shattered. I think about this: Confess your sins to one another that you may be healed.  I think placing those sins on the page is very compelling.  It will touch the core of your readers. It will make them burst into tears.  Secret, you will cry before your readers.

I find the ancient paths lead to the truest emotions. Heal the broken hearted, make the blind see, make the lame rise up and walk. If you do this good work, yes, your readers will cry but they will also find curled up in the egg shell of their lives, hope. A most profound way to tears: confess that you haven't sinned but have forgiven those who have sinned against you. I think this is one of the most profound things you can do.

I hope that you will be as honest as you can be and say what you need  to say. Will be back next week with more shaking of the cages. Meanwhile, seize the day!

Here is the doodle. I call this: 'Girl in the moon'.

Quote for the week:

A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us. Frank Kafka.


Vijaya said...

Oh, Molly, this is a fantastic post. Will ponder this more fully ... almost time to go to confession, actually :)

Mirka Breen said...

Great^, as usual. Here’s to writing stories that MATTER.

MollyMom103 said...

Hi, Vijaya, I'm glad to cause poondering.

Oh, Mirka, my heart's cry is to write stories that matter.

Candilynn Fite said...

I'm especially loving the Rattle Your Readers series. I don't cry easily w/ books. It takes an extremely engaging book to bring me to tears. I have to agree with you about authenticity of the authors' truths. If the reader can feel the truth buried within the text on the page, they'll invest. This gives me lots to think about. Thanks, Molly. :)

MollyMom103 said...

Hi Candi! Yes, you are circling around the the same idea I like that you say engaging. Books that entangle us, bind us, hold us fast, yep, I thinking on this, too.

Faith Pray said...

Beautiful thoughts on pain and grace. I love this. I want to chew on it a little while. Good stuff!