Appropriate topic for a February post on Seekerville, eh?
In my opinion, it’s appropriate for any post in any month for any writing blog because I want passion in my fiction—as a writer and as a reader.
Passion is what makes life rich.
Passion is what makes life worth it.
Passion is …
By now some of you are thinking, “Oh, boy, she’s one of those slender-thigh, bodice-ripping authors.”
Um, no. I’m not.
I haven’t had slender thighs since—wait, that wasn’t what you meant, was it?
Well, here’s what I mean:
Passion is that which stirs our hearts to do what reason says cannot be done.
Raise your hand if you saw Passion of the Christ. In the ancient sense of the word, “passion” refers to Christ’s sufferings. But what was Jesus’ passion as portrayed in the movie by actor Jim Caviezel? It played across his face as he pushed up from the Gethsemane dirt and strode forward. Remember?
Remember the set of his jaw, the determination in his step?
His was not a do-or-die passion. It was do and die. His passion was to make it to the cross, and that same passion enabled him to endure the suffering.
Nothing wimpy there, folks.
Merriam-Webster’s “simple definition” for passion says:
• : a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something • : a strong feeling (such as anger) that causes you to act in a dangerous way • : a strong sexual or romantic feeling for someone The M/W “full definition” reads: 1. 1 often capitalized a : the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death b : an oratorio based on a gospel narrative of the Passion2. 2 obsolete : suffering3. 3 : the state or capacity of being acted on by external agents or forces4. 4 a (1) : emotion
(2) plural : the emotions as distinguished from reason b : intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction c : an outbreak of anger5. 5 a : ardent affection : love b : a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept c : sexual desire d : an object of desire or deep interestIn my copy of Rodale’s The Synonym Finder, there are 216 listings under the word “passion,” not including derivatives like passionate, passionless, etc.
Passion comes in many colors.
As I mentioned earlier, I want passion in my fiction. However, passion not only enriches a story, it has power to fuel the story-writer. May I be so bold to say:
If you are not passionate about writing, stop wasting your time.
Harsh words, those. But think about it: if you have no passion for writing, why are you doing it? We all know it’s not the money.
What will keep you going in the dark, early morning hours when everyone else in your house is asleep and you’re trying to knock out a thousand words before you leave for your day job?
Passion, baby. Passion.
I write clean/safe/inspirational—call it what you will—romance, but it better have passion.
|The Cowboy's Bride Collection|
But that is not the only kind of passion in the story. The widowed hero, Josiah Hanacker, is passionate about not losing his daughter to her conniving aunt—and he will do whatever it takes to keep her. Hence, his motivation and goal.
(See Mr. Webster’s No. 4 a. and b. definition above.)
As writers, we all savvy goal and motivation:
Goal: What does Josiah want?
Motivation: Why does he want it?
I contend that passion must lie at the bottom of both motivation and goal, or our characters will never be able to overcome the conflicts that make up the rest of the story.
If I want to read a book without goal, motivation, conflict, and the characters’ PASSION to succeed, then I’ll read the phone book.
God forbid I ever write a phone book.
So how about you? Is there something in your everyday life about which you are passionate—in the strongest sense of the word? Or are you looking for something to be passionate about?
Davalynn Spencer is the wife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters and recipient of the 2015 Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award for Inspirational Western Fiction. She writes Western romance complete with rugged cowboys, their challenges and their loves, and teaches writing at Pueblo Community College and various workshops including an ACFW online course. She and her handsome cowboy make their home on Colorado’s Front Range with a Queensland heeler named Blue and two mouse-detectors, Annie and Oakley. Connect with her at www.davalynnspencer.com and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorDavalynnSpencer
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Love Is Buzzing in the Good Old Summertime! Summer's winding down and the nights are getting cooler, but love still warms the heart in Novella Collection #4:
The Columbine Bride by Davalynn Spencer
Lucy Powell is widowed with two children, but she is reluctant to accept Buck Reiter’s help on her neglected farm. Can the old cowboy convince her his interest is more than charity?