As always seems to happen, eSalon this morning gave me several handles on my own thinking…and, from there, several ideas that want examining in this space. This is one of them.
We write from the head. And we write from the heart. Each work contains—must contain—the gifts of both. Inevitably, however, a book belongs to one camp or the other. Head Energy or Heart Energy.
Heart Energy is the gut; the tears, the longing, the joy…the examination of the essences of the emotions that create the action. Plot as Feeling. The strengths and flaws that rise from our innermost selves. The truths of who we are.
Head Energy has elements of its hearted counterpart…but events are driving the bus. Emotions may motivate the plot, but actions move it. The book is driven by forces of doing more than forces of feeling.
The Spiritkeeper is a book of Heart Energy…it is a love story, after all—albeit one realized in a way that challenges the desire to categorize it. It is about the realizing of an accepting love…and its place amidst the inevitability of death. It is about the essence of what we are and what survives. And it all comes from the inside.
Everything is a book of ideas. The terminal pursuit of sensation. The finding of the Self in unexpected universes, both temporal and cosmic. A book compelled by emotions but not, at its core, about them.
Which do I prefer, I was asked this morning? The answer: I don’t know. I am more at home in worlds of the heart and the spirit; less at home in the conventions of plot. To which of those worlds do I belong?
I’d have to say that my world is an amalgamation of the two…books of the head whose essence grows from the heart. I have created a convention, a niche, that is my own.
That my work might be termed “Spiritual Thrillers” or “Literary-with-a-Twist”? The combining of forms is as natural to me as it is deliberate. And that might just may be the challenge.
Literary fiction is made largely of the former examinings, Heart Energy; commercial fiction, the latter, Energy of the Head. Agents and publishers want a finished product to fit comfortably on one bookstore shelf or another. That the deliberate and unexpected amalgamation might offer a new take that will broaden readers’ readiness to read: That’s what I’m hoping for. But where the hell do you put it?
The writing of head that speaks from the heart, the writing of heart that speaks to the head: Perhaps its time for a new shelf in the bookstore.