Alienation Desolation Heartache Solitude
Aloneness Loneliness Remoteness Seclusion
Pick a word, any word- either way they all, in essence, mean the same thing.
adjective, lone·li·er, lone·li·est.
(Once again, I would like to thank dictionary.com for their wisdom.)
- affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome.
- destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, support, etc.: a lonely exile.
- lone; solitary; without company; companionless.
- remote from places of human habitation; desolate; unfrequented; bleak: a lonely road.
- standing apart; isolated: a lonely tower.
We all understand that you can feel completely and utterly alone while sitting in a room full of people. I know I have. Being alone by choice and feeling lonely are very different things. I love being alone. I read, write, paint, cook, drink coffee (duh), and yes, I even clean. Don’t be shocked. We have already established that I am an odd duck.
Loneliness is a whole different scenario. This is a feeling of loss. It is the feeling of being left out of all the joys people share. It is described in Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood as a newly single woman seeing families going to church together, or young couples enjoying brunch at the coffee shop she used to share with her ex-boyfriend. Seeing this made her sad and feel lonely.
I feel sad when I see old, crusty, empty cuppas. How lonely must they feel without your love and affection? Come on peeps, let’s go show those cuppas some love. Don’t forget some nibbles. Ya know what I’m gonna snack on? Kettle corn! So, so good. Yummers. Grab yourself a bowl and help yourself. Meet us out on the reading rug when you are done.
Back to Loneliness
Well, I’m not lonely cuz I got you all.
For us writer peeps, writing loneliness is a way to garner sympathy with our readers. How do we do this? You have to draw a picture of struggle. It can be the sense of poverty of self. You must step carefully here because the cliches can storm your plot line. You know the ones…rainy days, that silent phone, messy house, not getting out of bed, and a pile of wadded tissues on the coffee table next to an empty ice cream tub.
Now, you can draw a picture of a weeping woman but switch it up a bit. Have her bawling in the stairwell of her job. Why? Because she got up, got dressed, and went to work. She was strong enough to do that while still feeling lonely. Or…a guy stomping around his house, throwing darts at a board, cursing his situation, but changes his clothes and hits the bar with a friend. He keeps moving forward.
These situations can paint the picture of strength, but it can also be a person hiding their true pain from the world and themselves. This is a storyline you can build on. Peeling back the layers to get to the real pain.
Bad Examples: She felt lonely. He felt lonely…blah, blah, blah. Remember this is where you show not tell. What do you do when you feel lonely? I put on movies that justify how I feel but also show me I can overcome it.
- Write a scene of a very happy event like a family get together, wedding, graduation. Write it from the POV of the lonely character. How do other people look to this character? How does the character feel while sitting there?
- Write the contradicting emotions- the party versus the lonely person.
- Write a page where your character is not only alone but also, you guessed it, lonely. Make sure one does not cause the other. Remember you can be alone and be happy.
- This is where you show the difference between alone and lonely.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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