A Musical and a Funeral

A musical and a funeral. What, you might ask, could these two disparate experiences possibly have in common?

Well, they both set my writer’s senses humming.

First, my daughter and I saw the Stratford Festival’s brilliant, boisterous production of the musical comedy “Guys and Dolls.” Singing, dancing, highjinks, and hilarity, plus a touching tale of first love. We laughed, sang in the car after, and felt elated.

Two days later, my brother and I attended the funeral of my late mother’s cousin. A solemn requiem mass. Rites steeped in centuries-old ceremony. Family members shrouded in the silence of their grief. Consolation from the choir with Faure’s soaring Requiem. I’m not religious, but I was deeply moved by a phrase in the priest’s sermon: “Grief is the price we pay for love.”

What, then, is the common ground?

It’s this. One powerful force. Emotion. The joyous release of song and dance. Solemn communal respect for the fullness of a man’s life. Both experiences overflow with emotion.

There’s a crucial lesson here for writers. Our job is to plumb these deepest emotional wellsprings that nourish and bind the human family. Love and laughter. Love and grief. And the myriad of other emotions that infuse our lives.

Emotional connection is the literary gift you bestow on your reader. When characters in a story move us to pity or laughter or loathing or dread, or just the simple warmth of fellow-feeling, that’s what makes us care. The fine details of style drift past the reader like mist unless the hand of emotion reaches out to grab them and hold them.

The wise writer uses this knowledge. When I mentor writers, I sometimes use the word “manipulate.” Effective writing means you’re manipulating your reader. It’s not a trick. It’s anything but shallow. It is, instead, a bonding with humanity’s deepest consciousness. What moves us, imprints us. The evoking of emotion is what turns the writer’s craft into art.

Personal Mentoring to Help You Advance

There’s no satisfaction like finishing your book and knowing it’s really good – the kind of book that can attract a top agent and win an offer from a major publisher.

But moving forward on your own can be a challenge, so you may be finding yourself a little stuck. If going it alone is holding you back, here’s a way forward. Starting on September 19, I can be your personal mentor.

My Writing Mentor Program Logo

This is a 3-month program called My Writing Mentor. I designed it for a very small group: just ten people. The small group size lets me focus on you individually. You’ll get:

  • My in-depth analysis of 30 pages of your writing, sent whenever you’re ready, either during the program or up to a year after
  • Bi-weekly group calls from September 19 to December 12 in which I’ll lead discussions, answer your questions, and give on-the-spot coaching
  • Unlimited free access to my “Your Path to a Page-Turner” Program. (If you’ve already purchased it, you get a $100 discount!)
  • Access to my private Facebook group for ongoing support

Registration is now open. We start on September 19. Three months of personal mentoring, support, and progress. The cost is $1195, with a monthly payment plan option.

There are just ten places in this program; three are still available. Don’t miss out on one of them! Click here for all the details.

Grow as a writer. Dare to succeed.

All my best,
Barbara Kyle
P.S.  If you want, you can book a free 15-minute call with me to discuss the program. I’ll be happy to answer your questions. Email me at bkyle@barbarakyle.com to schedule a call.

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