Integration---for most people, this simple word means trying to assimilate race and culture, but for writers, integration has a hidden meaning. We can not give birth to ideas without having experienced the lasting effects of choice.
Basically we all need to begin with truth. If we have never experiences grand passion, how can we possibly express foolish choices, blinded by desire? How can we understand a thief, if we have always lived beneath a moral compass?
Don’t even try. A writer who has not felt the emotion has very little chance of translating the feeling to readers. Draw on the emotion, the seedling that spurred the thought and fluttered its wings, stirring the memory.
A fiction writer does not need to be Scarlet O’Hara, but she must understand what it feels like to lose everything and depend on the talents of her fellow survivors to illustrate her ferocity in the face of poverty. Her gown, made of draperies, offered an assumptive front to a disguise of real feeling and her antagonist, Rhet Butler, said it all. “Frankly Scarlet, I don’t give a damn.”
I was proud of him, and I was decidedly sorry for Scarlet.
Let your life integrate with your experience and don’t be afraid to run naked. No one can actually see you.
Canadian author Ingrid Thomson is a published essayist and short story writer.
STORIES BY INGRID THOMSON
ESSAYS BY INGRID THOMSON