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  • Writer's pictureTony Taylor

More Than Words

Movies are comprised of a series of arranged images within the framework of a film. Some of those images are a thing of beauty to behold. But that is all. They are just images unless infused with emotion.

The same can be said of writing. In principle, writing follows the same pattern: a story is nothing more than a series of words on a page. Yet, something within those words has touched us.

Like the movie director with a film, a writer is responsible for conjuring those emotions because both want their audience to accept their productions as relatable and real. And we accept reality because we feel it.

But laying out those types of emotions and knowing what they spark in a viewer or reader is vital, and because a filmmaker and author are human, they are infallible and get it wrong. We've all been to movies and read books that have disappointed us. Why did they disappoint? They felt wrong.

Yet, it's more than just getting it wrong. It goes deeper than that. It is a lack of understanding by the director and author of what emotions they are conveying. They don't recognize the power they have harnessed and the aftermath.

Recently in a written piece that I did, though I thought I was being true to the story, my method of stringing those words together produced an idea that was entirely out of line with the character I was describing. I didn't understand what I was writing; its repercussions were out of line and just wrong. A prime example of this is writing a letter to someone while you're angry. Those words have emotion, but what are the repercussions of tapping into those emotions. In my case, I regret what I did with my story and have learned an invaluable lesson.

As directors and writers, we are responsible for fully understanding and honoring what we are creating. If we do that, we have something that fully conveys those themes and ideas we are trying to tell. We celebrate the story, ourselves, the viewer, and the reader; that honor is what touches an audience.

Understanding is knowing. Knowing our stories and their illicit feelings is the key to infusing emotion into all we do, and when we do that, we touch an audience. Our imaginations become realities to those subjected because it's more than words.

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