Well, ain’t that a goal. I would love to know what absolute contentment feels like. But let’s learn how to write it.
Coffee? Is that a form of contentment? I think it is, so let’s go get a fresh cuppa and an apple. I made a coffee called Sinful. It was a gift from a friend who thought it was funny because of my book, Sin Full. I must admit, it is quite good. Help yourself but save me some. Grab what you need and join us out on the reading rug.
…and they lived happily ever after.
Apparently, this is the statement of contentment not just a one-line conclusion to a story. The question is, what does contentment look like to you? Is it sitting alone in front of a fire, reading a book, and sipping a cuppa? Is it being out and about with friends or your significant other? Is it earbuds in and feet pounding a tree lined path in the early hours of the morning? The point is everyone’s idea of contentment is different and that is totally okay. You must have felt it though to write it correctly. It’s the feeling not necessarily the action.
How do you write the ‘everything is right with the world,’ moment?
I have no clue, so let’s learn together. Okay, so according to Ann Hood in her book Creating Character Emotions we allow out character to drift to a memory of where they had a sense of satisfaction in their life. This allows them to have a moment in time to compare their current situation to. In fiction stories the epically content character is a great target to upset with worldly or personal drama. Slap them in the face, hard, to shake them up. Example: They have an amazing career and a new love and then…GLOBAL PANDEMIC closes it all down for them. No job to go to and the love must keep their distance. This is when your character is trapped within their own space where they find their ideal world isn’t as beautiful as they thought.
BAM! That’s a story idea right there. I wrote that on the fly- I am rockin’ it today.
Just remember, in that awesome story idea, the character started out completely and utterly content with their life. That is the only way this works. They then must find their way back to that feeling. It doesn’t have to be the same job or love. Some found new goals and dreams during the pandemic. Write that. The journey of contentment through the chaos. You must write this transformation convincingly. Not only do you have to convince your character that they are happy but also the reader. It is super easy for a reader to except conflict, drama, and tragedy in a story. Showing your character climbing out of that hole can be difficult.
What’s funny is ‘happily ever after’ is listed as a bad example. Unless it is used to close out a fairytale, of course. We’ve all read this line numerous times and scoffed at it. It is a quick way to get to The End, and that is all. I am sorry to say that ‘happily ever after’ does not exist. I would love for it to be real but real it is not.
In the end, your goal is to show your character happy with the end/beginning of the situation that caused the story and not beyond. You cannot force your reader to believe they will remain happy forever after.
- Dig deep within and find a moment when you have felt true contentment. Remind yourself of how it felt. Spend time in that memory. Write about it.
- Rewrite the details of that memory. Do not change the feeling change the situation. If it was Christmas in your memory change it to a summer day. Change the year, the names, even the gender.
- This will teach you how to use your own feelings in your writing.
- Another way is all about the details. Choose one of the topics below and use details to build the feeling of contentment.
- A honeymoon
- A snowy day
- First grade
- A homecoming.
Until next time…
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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Universal Code for O-B*tch-uary: https://books2read.com/u/bOZe8o
Universal Code for Sin Full: http://books2read.com/u/m2Vdqd
Author Page: amazon.com/author/nellawarrent