Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Since I've been attempting to write 2,000 words a day, I constantly have words on the brain. The word on my brain today is:

Sehnsucht (pronounced [ˈzeːnzʊxt] or sane-zookt). It is a German noun translated as "longing", "yearning", or "craving. 

C.S. Lewis (of Narnia fame) says this word, Sehnsucht, is difficult to translate adequately as it describes a deep emotional state. Sehnsucht is referred to as one of those quasi-mystical German terms for which there is no satisfactory corresponding term in another language. Sehnsucht attempts to convey a hunger that lies deep within, waiting to be feed. A desperate need that seeks to be fulfilled; not with food, but something more. 

As I progress through my new story, I ask myself, 'Am I showing my characters Sehnsucht? Can you see what he's longing for? His greatest desire? How do I show the longing without telling the reader in long boring exposition?' 

Creating a strong sense of in your hero or heroine, and then connecting them to the reader through power of Sehnsucht, is what makes the reader choose to fight, believe, stick with your character until the bitter end.

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying: “Feeling and longing are the motive forces behind all human endeavor and human creations.” Since he was German, I am sure he knew how to convey the true meaning of Sehnsucht. He also is credited with saying...

My Muse For Today is how do you show your characters longing, simply, so the reader experiences it and embraces it as if it were their own? How do you create Sehnsucht?

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