Monday, April 15, 2019

Watching Notre Dame Burn


How do we take the energy of shock and put it to best use as a writer? Thanks to the immediacy of the Internet, I am watching the Notre Dame Cathedral burn. I mean, it is truly burning! I literally watched a spire burn and fall over - part of history is being destroyed through fire, and there is nothing we can do. Yes, firemen are on the scene, but they can only do so much. A very important part of Paris, a very important part of human history, is burning before our eyes.

As a writer, am I taking notes? Good heavens no! I cannot separate myself from what is going on. All I can do is make mental notes of my reactions to what I am seeing.  At some future point in time will I be able to use this event, this energy in some way in my writing? If I couldn't do that, I wouldn't be a writer. I will make some notes later today, and file them away. In the next few days I will add more notes. I can only imagine how the people of Paris are feeling right now. That may go into future stories that I write also. 

Events like this are lynchpins - they mark a point in time for us. They affect us, and they affect the people around us. They are part of the environment of our stories, and they add color and context to the action. They tell us a great deal about our characters, about how they think, and how they feel. 

I am still in shock - and probably will be for days. But I am also a writer, and I will allow this event to be something that I can use to make my stories real, and to connect to my readers in a manner that is within their scope of experience.

As a writer, how do you add color to your stories with major events like this?

(c) April 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission.

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