Friday, September 20, 2013

Day 257 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis




I know, that was a little more cryptic than my usual. What the hell am I talking about? The one thing that the great writers have that goes beyond mastery of craft. That singular quality that draws the reader in and has them panting to keep up on the journey. So what is it?
Simply put, it's heart. But what is that? Think about that biography, novel, book of poems, or movie that you really adore above all else. Got it? Okay, what is it that is so magical to you? I'll bet it's that feeling that the author truly believes in what they are writing. They believe in the life, goals, and accomplishments of that real life person they are chronicling. Or you can just tell that the premise of the novel is from deep inside their own soul. The emotions in the poetry are truly something they have felt and experienced in the well of their own being. The script isn't something done just for the buck, but to impart a measure of the writer or director's morality and spirit.
Ken Kesey did it in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. Kubrick hammered it home in FULL METAL JACKET. Bukowski took you on a tour of true misery and revelation in THE ROOMING HOUSE MADRIGALS. What each of them did was to look into themselves, not for what they thought was going to be a monetary slam dunk, but for what it was they actually felt about the thing they were presenting.
Hunter S. Thompson's special brand of, as he called it, Gonzo Journalism, was his view of the world and the madness of political obsession. Albert Camus stripped away all the rationalizations and petty excuses of modern man. William Carlos Williams distilled the simplest gesture into the most profound statement.
It is the ability to relate the knowledge that you aren't just asking for money for a gauche entertainment. You are trying to communicate something to your readers that is vital and meaningful to you as a fellow human being and raise both of you above the throng. But watch that you are truly telling the truth about your beliefs. Otherwise, you may find yourself just as quickly despised for being a charlatan.
Last, know that putting your heart into an art form can also make you a sudden target. There are those in the world, many of them on-line, most often typified as 'haters', who will come after you simply because of your courage. These twisted souls are vehemently opposed to anything that smacks of truth, sincerity, and depth, because they are incapable of creating anything so challenging. If you really have the conviction of what you've done, you will survive even the most virulent attacks. Heart. It is a shield, a weapon, and a fortress, and an indispensable quality for any writer.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------, love, write, and bleed a little every time.
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Dane F. Baylis

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