Have you noticed the “lean-in” effect when you talk about writing to a muggle? Or how muggles and other writers smile when you explain your story idea, hands waving all over as you describe a new world, new characters, and what tickled your interest with the story in the first place?
You know what that is, right?
Since this is the month of looooove, I wanted to talk about a little bit of attraction, and a lot more passion. (Yes, that sounds like a country song on purpose.)
How To Harness The Attraction Of Passion
When I say “attraction,” I’m not talking about it in the romantic sense, though this is certainly applicable to romance IRL. It’s more of a force, like gravity, something that others cannot resist.
Passion is attractive. Passion is a force of nature. Passion belongs to creatives.
There. That’s your mantra for today. But let’s break it down.
Passion Is Attractive
Think about your significant other or why the love interest in your book is so, well, interesting. What singular quality about them first attracted you? I bet you whatever it was, it had to do with something they were passionate about. For example, my initial attraction to my husband (besides the fact that he’s hot) was witnessing his passion for skydiving and music. The initial attraction for the first two characters I ever wrote was the guy experiencing the girl’s passion for her music.
If you’ve received negative feedback about the love interest in your book, or even about a fictional friendship that isn’t ringing true, find the passion. What is each of your characters most passionate about, and how is that passion attractive to the other characters?
Passion Is A Force Of Nature
In both my day job and through Cruising Writers, I’ve experienced the force of creative passion. You have, too. It’s the difference in writing something because you have to, and writing something because you need to.
Readers can tell the difference as well. If you’re feeling the feels in your writing, if you’re passionate about your story, characters, and world, your readers will feel it too.
But if you’ve lost the magic for a story, chances are your writing will fall flat and formulaic. Are you no longer excited about the project you’re working on? Is it because you’ve turned the story into something you’re not actually passionate about? Did you lose the spark of why the story initially attracted you?
Go back to that initial spark; the question you had to answer or the characters that had to meet. Go back to your base, and rediscover that initial passion for the story.
However if you go back and that same spark has dimmed, it may be time to move on. There are other stories, and you being a passionate, creative, magical being will discover which ones are yours to tell.
Passion Belongs To Creatives
Get around a group of creatives and you’ll be energized. I’ve witnessed this on each of the Cruising Writers Writing Retreats. Authors come to us drained, and leave with their wells full, with new stories simmering in their blood, with fresh energy for their writing and the business of writing.
It’s not just writers that get this energy. If you’ve ever watched the show Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s a show about cooking, and yet you can’t not watch it. Emeril travels the world with the top chefs from each culinary genre and the passion in these guys...it’s incredibly attractive.
You’ve got that too, you know. Your day job may be drab, your social life may exist only online, but once you start accessing that creative energy, you light up. If you’re not accessing your creativity or your writing on a frequent, consistent basis, I truly believe your overall well-being suffers. It may be in the form of not handling stress well, heightened anxiety or depression, or a negative outlook on the future. Or maybe chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.
But when you rest in your creativity and allow yourself to be passionate about your writing, your imagination, your unique creative genius, you’ll find your center. And when you’re there? That’s when your writing voice is strongest.
There’s a reason passion belongs to creatives. The work is hard, but the love for the work and the attractive passion that shines through is enough to carry us through the creative rollercoaster.
Tips For Getting The Passion Back In Your Writing
Passion isn’t just for romance authors. Passion is for all genres. If you’ve written a scene that falls flat, find one thing about it that sparks your interest. Chances are, that’s the reason for the scene.
Ask yourself some questions. Is there a secret that you can tease the reader with? Is there a question you can leave unanswered? Is there a new discovery that sheds light on why two people should be together--letting the reader know but keeping it from the characters?
Is there a moment when your characters realize their passions collide? My husband’s skydiving and music interests attracted me because it showed me his sense of adventure...which perfectly complemented mine. Do your characters have that?
Does your character show his or her passion for their life’s purpose? What is their purpose?
Maybe your character has lost their passion for life or for love. If that’s the case, make sure it’s on the page by showing us what’s missing. Give your character a glimpse of what life could be like if they’d only stop sacrificing the thing that makes them unique.
Focus on the passion--both in your creativity and in your writing--and you will be on your way to attracting agents, editors, and readers.
What makes you passionate in your writing? What about in your everyday life? What tips do you have to share about translating your passion into action?
* * * * * *
Christina Delay is the hostess of Cruising Writers and an award-winning author represented by Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency. When she's not cruising the Caribbean, she's dreaming up new writing retreats to take talented authors on or writing the stories of the imaginary people that live in her heart.
Cruising Writers brings writers together with bestselling authors, an agent, an editor, and a world-renowned writing craft instructor writing retreats around the world.
Cruise with us to Grand Cayman this October with Kristen Lamb (Bestselling Author and Marketing Jedi), Rachel Caine (Bestselling Author of 50+ books), Deidre Knight (The Knight Agency), and Alex Sehulster (St. Martin’s Press).
Or get ready to Dive Deep and join us on a 7-day Immersion Cruise with Margie Lawson this December to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel!