Tuesday, August 23, 2011

“What are you passionate about?”

passion festI’ve received that question a few times lately in regards to some non-writing matters. But it got me thinking…what about writing am I passionate about?

I started thinking about things like Show vs Tell, character arcs, Hero’s Journey, scene structure, and the appropriate use of commas. Plot vs story, conflict on every page, tension, stakes, making every word matter.

Then it struck me. All those concepts are really ancillary to the real thing I’m passionate about.

I’m passionate about PASSION.

Not necessarily that romantic passion—though I have that too—but I’m passionate about writing characters who are passionate, who care, who fight and struggle whether for a good or evil cause.

I’m passionate about creating surprises, to challenge my characters past the breaking point, to have them fight to the last breath. To create wild twists and turns that drive the story to the conclusion.

I’m passionate about good writing, that creates worlds you can see, touch, and taste. Characters that you feel that you know, that care about the things you would if you were them.

So my stories are really stories about the nature of passion, and what passion can do to you. In Steam Palace, my main character Sophia even has a name for it—Mad Passion. She thinks it’s some kind of ethereal magic that causes her to make difficult decisions and face the truth of her situation. She thinks it’s a defect or some kind of special gift, but the reality is that she’s just passionate. Like everyone. And by driving her to the truth of matters, she can throw off societies’ norms and expectations and do what she needs to do.


How do you use passion in your writing?

Hmm…that image I found gives me an idea for a blogfest……


  1. Like you, I am passionate about my characters.  I love less than perfect characters who I hurt for and hurt with.  Characters I feel to the depth of our souls.  A strong character connection is essential to my writing.  If I don't have it, my readers certainly won't.

    Great post

  2. I think I'm most passionate about the story and the characters, followed by the imagery that is invoked by the storytelling.

     - Eric

  3. Besides the obvious (I write romance) I create in my characters a zeal for life. The stakes are not high if no one cares about the outcome. Of course love, emotional and physical, are part of the character's raison d'etre. Without love conquering all, there would be no happily ever after. Without passion for life, there would be no obstacles to surmount or a reason to do so.

  4. Exactly. Couldn't say it better myself (tho I tried).

  5. The characters have to carry the passion of the novel, but if they're too perfect then what are they striving for? The flaws are what make them interesting.


Thank you for your contribution to this discussion.