Monday, May 4, 2009

Sad Songs Say So Much

I'm sitting in the library of the local university, and I'm listening to sad music. Why? It just strikes me sometimes that I need to listen to other peoples' sad stories; it helps me recognize the pain in the world and put it into my own writing. Some songs are so brilliantly written and poignant that they make me truly sad inside. It is my sincere hope that my own fiction will one day elicit that response from at least one reader. I believe that all writers should have a similar hope: to elicit an appropriate response from their readers in such a way that it completes their work - and not because their work was incomplete before - but because a reader, in my opinion, makes a work what it is for them.

I've been working on two pieces lately.

One is about a society forced into quiet acceptance and obedience made possible by forceful removal of dissenting voices. It is about a young man whose father is taken away, and he begins a revolution that is eventually - and sadly - quelled and forgotten, as is often the case in such societies.

The other is about a woman who feels that her life has come unraveled to a point that she feels her only course of action is to leave her husband - a man whose only true joy in life is his job. It takes place over the course of an evening as she waits for him to return home, so she can tell him why she is leaving, giving him some semblance of dignity, only to wake up in the morning to find that he's not come home. So she leaves regardless.

I don't know why it is that sad stories move me - they always have.

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