My greatest challenge as a writer is taking what is in my heart, mind, and imagination and transferring it flawlessly to paper. That’s an impossible task, of course. I’ve never written a novel or short story that didn’t change course, at least a little, from my original concept.
Let me be clear – I know how to develop characters and tell a story. The greatest difficulty for me is in writing a scene that is so sublime or emotional that it can’t, as the saying goes, be put into words. How do you describe the look on a small child’s face on Christmas morning? How about the feeling in your heart on that child’s first day of kindergarten? The look on their face when they ride their bike without training wheels for the first time? The feeling when that child marries, moves out, and moves away? How do I make the reader feel what I feel?
For me, it’s hard enough trying to convey the feeling that a Blue Ridge Mountain sunset inspires. The other stuff is impossible, so what is an author to do? In my case, I do the best I can and hope it’s good enough for the reader to experience some of the emotion I feel. I don’t avoid it or try to write around the scene. That’s dishonest and a disservice to the characters and the story.
Words can be powerful and accomplish great things. Words can also be small and ordinary. Sometimes they fail. Imagine how great this blog entry would have been if Hemingway or Faulkner were alive to write it.