If you’ve read any posts on this website about Brock Booher and his book Healing Stone, you probably know we’re prone to gushing over this author. (I know. We’re shameless.) So when I decided to write a this post for the EFC Writer on being bold, Mr. Booher came to mind as the perfect writer to quote in the article. He discussed the importance of writing with emotion as a guest at our book group and demonstrated his ability to do so in his first novel. In true Brock Booher form, he responded to my question with such thoroughness, I decided to ask him if I could use his response in its entirety.
Enjoy the guest post from one of our favorite writers.
No Tears in the Writer
by Brock Booher
The great poet Robert Frost said, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” But if you have outlined your story and know the end from the beginning, how does the writing bring you to tears or surprise you?
Even though the story may be well outlined and the ending well thought out, the scene-by-scene prose in the middle is still a bit fuzzy when the story begins. However, if the characters are fully fleshed out and compelling enough, they will come to life as the story unfolds and surprise you with their actions, emotions, and decisions. You will fall in love with them, or come to hate them, but if the characters are real enough, you cannot remain indifferent. You will find your fingers flying over the keyboard as you realize what they are about to do and you want to get it on the page so you can discover it as well. You will find yourself laughing out loud and hoping that everyone else in the airplane, coffee shop, or hotel lobby doesn’t think you have completely lost it. You might find your jaw tight and your blood pressure climbing because you feel the anger in the characters. Then, when you come to the tragic scene where the dog dies, you will barely be able to see the keyboard and have to keep a box of tissue handy to keep the snot dripping out of your nose from gumming up the computer. If you want the reader to feel it, you have to feel it.
Developing a story is a lot like deep space exploration. Sometimes you start with an outline, but when the characters take shape, you must “boldly go where no one has gone before,” and follow them into the darkness in order to find the light. If you want the reader to feel emotion, you must be willing to feel it yourself.
One of the most tender scenes for me in Healing Stone was the scene from Chapter Six when Stone heals Hazel Owens from polio. I set up the scene but didn’t really know how it was going to play out. When I started writing it, I could feel the anxiety, the hope, the sadness, and the joy. I cried when I wrote it, and consequently, several readers have told me they cried when they read it.
Maybe Robert Frost was right.
About the author: Brock Booher grew up on a farm in rural Kentucky, the fourth of ten children, where he learned to work hard, use his imagination, and believe in himself. He left the farm to pursue the friendly skies as a pilot, and currently flies for a major US carrier. A dedicated husband and father of six children, he began writing out of sheer arrogance, but the writing craft quickly humbled him. During that process, he discovered that he enjoyed writing because it is an endeavor that can never quite be mastered. He still gladly struggles everyday to improve his writing and storytelling skills.
written by Brock Booher
published by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media
See Belinda’s 5-star review here.
About the book – from Goodreads: Abandoned in a graveyard and a mother who was never found–that’s all Stone Molony knows about his birth. But now he needs to know more. A tragic accident has awakened a powerful gift inside him that changes everything. As the town stirs up around him, Stone journeys through corruption, racism, and violence to uncover the truth about his past.