“At the bottom of art, its motive power and mainstay….is to utter, to give out a strongly felt emotion or desire….” Ancient Art and Ritual – Jane Ellen Harrison
Mark Schroeder, a Twitter follower, recommended this book to me and as I read, underline and highlight the text, I can better see what I am attempting to accomplish as a literary artist. As writers, we have definite thoughts in mind as we write. We care about our characters and we hope we can evoke those same emotions in our readers.
In of A Golden Leaf in Time Revised, neither Phoenix nor Trey have found the peace that they deserve; yet they are both good people who are trying to excel on their jobs. But, their love lives are in tatters and almost cost them their livelihoods or income; hence, the ability to take care of themselves as single professionals.
Also, from the same book, Ancient Art and Ritual, this line touched me because it states what I was attempting to show. “Instead of asking a god to do what he wants done, he does it or tries to do it himself; instead of prayers he utters spells.” Both of the main characters, Phoenix and Trey, realize that they are powerless in attempting to solve their problems without adding regular prayers into their daily lives. They see that they cannot dispel the dark forces without the aid of a Higher Power.
So, my task as a writer, in this instance, was to evoke compassion for these two characters as they try to reach a more comfortable state. After my first author party, I looked at the pictures of some of the listeners and noted the seriousness on their faces, as I read from Golden Leaf. I could see that they were touched by the characters’ experiences and collectively agreed that this was no laughing matter. My task as a literary artist was accomplished during this particular gathering.
How do you know when you have touched the desired emotions of your audience?