When you write with your heart, allowing all your emotions to run free into your characters, it will show. I am an emotional person, have always been, but for some reason I have never been the type to display my real feelings. I don't do hugs, cries and passionate kisses in public.
From the day I conceived my 1st born, my senses seemed heightened. Everything I felt became tenfold. When I experience fear, it is scarier than ever; when I experience worry, it has me on edge; when I experience love it is unconditional. What a gift, to be able to experience all these emotions with such intensity. Yet I still have trouble allowing them to roam free. It is in my nature to control them, to hide them away like a shameful secret.
Reading back what I've written, reading the life I've created for my characters I came to realise that they carry the same shield I do. Their emotions just lightly touch the surface of their being, not allowing them to fully embrace their passions, desires, fears. So while I am fully aware that I should be writing from my heart, opening my soul to my work, I think that in better understanding who I am and my own emotions, I will be able to better translate them to the character.
I have recently read the script to Thelma & Louise. From the start we understand why Thelma has to get away, also understanding how hard it is for her. Every step of the way we see her vulnerability, naïvety, but we also see her getting stronger, believing more in herself. Louise is almost the opposite; she is the strong one, the wise one and her defensive nature isn't quite clear at first. As the story unfolds though, she becomes more vulnerable as her mask starts to come off. That is in my humble opinion, why it's such a good story, the protagonists have such a strong emotional baggage. Neither of them is perfect, yet they are very likeable. Their fear of becoming trapped leads them to their own self-destruction, and the end is the only way to achieve the freedom they've been seeking for all along.
It is characters like Thelma & Louise that I aspire to write. Characters filled with flaws and compassion that makes them so real.
As an exercise to myself, I will attempt to re-create moments that have marked me throughout my life. I aim to write every emotion that I felt at key moments that have helped define me so far, from the little girl who was ashamed of being a foreigner, even in her own country, to the excitement and frustration of first loves, to the stress and confusion faced with in the job market.
Unfortunately, as is my nature, I am not yet ready to share those publicly, either out of shame or fear. Somethings should remain private, but my writing it out, accepting it, understanding those feelings. I'll be able to write stronger and more complex characters.
Just a thought.