"A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right." ~John K. Hutchens, New York Herald Tribune, 10 September 1961
The toughest part of writing has to be making human feelings come across on bare paper (or a bare screen) without sounding trite or forced. And yet, if we know our characters well enough, they speak for themselves.
The trick, my friends, is knowing them well enough.
When her tears had subsided, he murmured, “A’er marenken, Marenya. M’ashkenai el folmendur.” I hold you in my heart, Marenya. My heart burns forever.
“M’ashkenai el folmendur,” she replied.
A line from an ancient poem, quoted by lovers through the ages. He kissed her again, not carelessly as he had done before, but fearfully, longingly, asking for her reply and receiving it back, drawing strength from her and giving her strength in return. He had been living under the sun for forty years, and had only just been born.
As I struggle to find my voice again, these are the passages that make the characters come alive. These are where the characters speak.