Tag Archives: feeling

Meaning and Sentiment

The holiday season is choc full of sentiment, no matter if you think the days have become entirely commercialized or not. It’s a time for family and togetherness, to show how much we care and love others, by giving as much as we can.

Meaning has two different thoughts here in this post for me. One is the association with semantics and what something is comprised of, what it means, and the other is tied in with sentiment, it means something, it has value. The meaning of getting gifts this Christmas is mutual love and abundant desire to see someone happy, but how much do those gifts mean to who is getting them or giving them?

Getting a bunch of gifts mean that people are able and wanting to give to you. Getting gifts that are maybe small, they’re toys, they’re little things that not many would consider to get you, means that someone knows you, or has inside jokes with you, or something to that effect.

There’s sentiment in getting something from someone you care about. You know what they went through to get it despite how quickly or how much you’ve outgrown it, and you’d rather hold on to it.

Writing goes sort of in the same direction, but differently, if that makes any sense. What you write can have meaning in two different ways. It can mean something about your life or society, or it can mean the world to you because it was the first thing you felt so great about writing in a while. It can mean enough to put a dedication to someone in it, it will have that sentimentality that it’s for someone else, that there’s more to it than just a crazy, creative idea that you had and masterfully marked up throughout a period of time.

It is what you put into it.  If you put your heart and soul into it, if it’s filled to the brim with your passion and gusto (as Ray Bradbury would put it), it will be obvious. With passion backing your words, there’s bigger, stronger support to it, there’s more emphasis and feeling.

Sentiment is a big part as well. Like with writing for a gift, there’s more to it than is tangible. It can help sculpt the story, the chapter, the article, into something else. Like with dedication to someone you’ve lost, the sentiment of writing it for them makes it into a piece that has your heart in it. It has reminders of them or it has a message for them that you maybe couldn’t have told them before.

Even if, overall, the piece ends up being some of your worst work– either in your eyes or someone else’s– there is sentiment in it. You see it, others may not, but it becomes what it means to you. And, in some cases, those who know what the meaning is in it.

Writing comes from the head, but the heart contributes just as much. It is a compilation of passion and ideas, the collaboration of your imagination and where your heart wants to soar. When there is one without the other, what does the meaning become then?

-The Novice Wordsmith


One of the biggest problems I tended to have in the beginning, and still have to check myself on these days, is how much insight a character has to guess on something. What do I want them to get, and how easy is it for them to understand or see the connection? What does it say about them?

Characters can be in tune with the world around them or tuned out completely. They can tap into feelings of, “That doesn’t seem right,” or be blind to them.

Hardest to get this right is when you’re writing with others (see: roleplaying). What’s called “metagaming” is basically giving your character the key to the problem and making them solve it. I heard a lot of flack given to friends and from them about this, people just get annoyed and bitter about it. The best bet is to pick up on smaller cues and communicate with the others involved at what should be seen and connected to and what can’t.

Having a conflict solved so easily takes away from the story, quite literally, and the best thing to do is drag it out. Conflicts and issues that arise are the adventure and the hills of your story. This is what takes readers up and down, what reveals the true dimensions of your character and what kind of trouble they can get themselves into and out of.

It sets the pace for the novel, or short story, or movie, or whatever it is you may be writing for. Equating it to a non-fiction piece, it’s like getting to the point without really getting into any details and calling it good.

But the intuition of a character determines a lot, their interactions with others, how they handle a situation, what they do under pressure. It’s something they rely on heavily in mysteries, and in danger it can make or break things. For romance, it can be what pulls the two together, or keeps them apart, or pushes the ex away a little further.

Thinking about it, how intuitive a character is really can set the pace for a lot, but there are plenty of other elements that lead to the story, obviously.

It can also lend to the feel of the novel. Are their “gut feelings” based around how they solve problems or understand things, or are they very much a scientific, logical person who doesn’t rely on that? Do they have a religion based on what they feel and see in the metaphysical, or do they push religion away, or are they a little bit of both?

Intuition counts for a lot more when you really think about it, which ties into thinking power and the ability and skill to deduce one thing from the next. It’s taking in minute details and large ones at the same level and being able to differentiate.

Above all, quite literally, it shows your character the way.

-The Novice Wordsmith