When we were children, we were thankful for nearly everything. We hugged and love completely. We did not hesitate to appreciate the small things. What does this mean and why is it important? It shows that gratitude is an emotion. It grows and builds as you use it, much like any other muscle. Think of it as exercise. I will. How many calories does a hug burn? Hang on I’ll look…
Per Google, you can burn 70 calories with an hour of hugging.
Look out friends! When we get together again, I’ll be hugging all of you a lot and will call it exercise.
Wanna know another calorie burning activity? Once again Google answers the question: Caffeine increases your resting metabolic rate, which means it increases the number of calories you burn at rest. Come on let’s go burn some calories. Fill your cuppa with me. One and two and creamer and stir. Stretch for the cookie jar, lift, twist your body, and place it on the counter for the rest of us to share. Walk to get your copy of Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood. Lift and carry to the reading rug where you can sit and stretch. Turn to page 68, sip your cuppa, and breathe. Great job friends.
Look at that! We did some calisthenics and burned calories getting some coffee. I’m all about multitasking. Dab the sweat from your brow and let’s get to the learning part of the show.
Now let’s convince your readers that your characters are grateful…
for something, anything.
Writing fiction, per the amazing book we are reading, can be simple if you pay attention. Think about the things you do to show gratitude. You send flowers to the sick, meals for the families of someone who passed, empathy and care for someone who is crying. This is gratitude for another person/character.
But this emotion isn’t limited to the big things. I, for example, am thankful for the timer on my coffee pot. I am grateful for the rain that is helping my flowers bloom. I am thankful for the fur-babies wrapped around my feet. I am thankful for the Hubs who stepped up and did the dishes. That may seem like a small thing, but I appreciated it none the less.
When writing keep in mind that showing small moments of gratitude in your character can help your reader understand their motivations. Why are they so thankful their spouse/partner did the dishes? Why are they thankful that a stranger bought them a sandwich? Small moments can be just as powerful as a character receiving a massive check to get them out of debt.
Think about all the little things that have been gifted to you that meant the world at that moment. Use that emotion, that small and simple moment to build your characters life and motivations.
Bad Examples – “Oh, thank you, thank you! I am soooo grateful.” – No. Once again, show – vs- tell. You are telling your reader not showing the character jumping up and running to hug the person who helped or gave your character what they wanted/needed. You can do better than this.
- Think about a moment in your life when you watched someone else act negatively about a gift. This moment made you feel that much more thankful for what you have. Write this experience using your gratitude and the emotions that went along with it.
- I had a wealthy friend who complained about the car she got for her 16th birthday. It wasn’t the right color nor the expensive one she wanted. I did not get a car but was able to take the bus. I was able to ask for rides from friends and family. It was the small things that made me grateful for the assistants that was available to me. It also taught me to be resilient and creative. You can find a way if you look.
Until next time, feel free to read ahead. We will be looking at writing Grief. But until then…
Please remember that I am not trying to write this book for you word for word. I am skipping a lot of detail. I highly suggest you purchase the book and read between the lines.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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