Saturday, 4 April 2015

A to Z Challenge 2015 - Emotions & Reactions - D is for Desolation & Delight (writing discussion & fiction)

A to Z Challenge 2015 - Emotions & Reactions

This year for the A to Z Challenge, I'm investigating emotions and reactions and their use to in writing. So, I'll be talking about my first thoughts as a writer when I think about the words we use to describe emotions and my experience of their use in literature and TV/film.

Desolation & Delight
desolation: a state of complete emptiness or destruction / great unhappiness or loneliness.
delight: great pleasure, joy.

So, today I wanted to look at two extremes of emotion. As you can see, both definitions use the word 'great' - desolation is the utter depths of despair, where you can feel totally alone, completely empty and then delight is the opposite end of the emotional spectrum where you can feel on top of the world.

Delight, is an overused word, in my opinion, let's face it, we use it in one of our polite little phrases when we are meeting someone, 'Delighted to meet you.' Of course, we aren't delighted, well, unless we're perhaps meeting someone who've we've been dreaming of meeting all our lives - for me, I might actually mean it if I got to meet J K Rowling. But, most of the time, we're just trotting out a well-used phrase without really thinking about it.

As writers, we have to be more careful!

Desolation is not such a commonly used reaction word as delight. I would say the Na'vi in Avatar felt desolation when their Hometree is destroyed. Their way of life has been wiped out, they have to run, and I could really feel that in the film. Whether you love or hate Avatar, it did manage to convey this strength of emotion.

As with any extremes, such reactions should be used sparingly :)

QUESTION: Can you name a book that has taken you from the depths of despair to the crests of delight, or vice versa?

~

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36 comments:

  1. I'd say Angelfall by Susan Ee but only because the next book wasn't out and I wanted to know what happened yesterday. ;)

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    1. Now that is a problem - I remember waiting what felt like years for the next book when David Eddings was putting out The Mallorean - it was so long between books I used to have to go back and reread the previous one!

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  2. i think these are the most used emoticons.. in instant messaging especially...:)

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  3. I just finished Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard book for the second time. It always brings me delight. Not just the story, but his writing genius!

    Scribbles From Jenn - Visiting from the A to Z Challenge

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    1. I first came across Neil Gaiman when a friend lent me The Sandman graphic novels in uni - he has a unique way of writing.

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  4. I recently read Absences Light by Adrienne Wilder. Great example of where great loneliness can spiral into wonderful delight.

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  5. The only book I can think of that took me from delight to despair, I can't actually remember the name of (read it when I was a teenager). :P It was a sci-fi book (about going to Mars, I believe), and very enjoyable until the end where it totally upset me and I threw it across the room hehe. It's the only book I've ever literally thrown. Seems weird I can't remember it, guess I erased it from my memory banks. ;)

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    1. That can happen. It's more difficult to throw books when they're on the Kindle, but I have taken great pleasure in erasing the odd one :)
      Sophie
      Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
      FB3X
      Wittegen Press

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  6. I tend to prefer books that don't take me to the depths of despair ;) You like to put your characters through the wringer though, so I guess some of yours count :P
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  7. This just made me think of the Desolation of Smaug XD I thought that was an odd and yet fitting choice of word.

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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  8. Boy you nailed desolation with the scene you described from Avatar. That is interesting about your thought of delight being overused. I'm going to make a note of it and I bet I'll discover that too.

    betty

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  9. In American culture, neither words are used frequently. As far as "delighted," here in America, few people say "Delighted to meet you." We may say, "Nice to meet you."

    Precious Monsters

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  10. I've always liked the word desolation. It sounds cool and I've used it quite a bit in my writing. :)

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    1. It is one of those words that has the power behind its construction that it is trying to express.

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  11. I've always liked the word desolation. It sounds cool and I've used it quite a bit in my writing. :)

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  12. Schindler's List, both the book and the film, took me to the extremes of emotion. The horror of the camps, the delight for the survivors.
    Delighted to meet you, too. It must be a British thing, as in How do you do? is always answered How do you do! Nobody likes to say they're miserable or happy, we don't want to show our emotions.

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    1. No we don't in fact, we're surprised when someone actually gives us a real answer :)

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  13. Cant think of any book at the moment but I dont like books that end with despair. I am all for happy delightful endings :)

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    1. I'm a happy ending junkie too, don't mind going the other way, but things have to work out. :)

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  14. Kite Runner I think fits. You made me laugh when you were talking about being delighted to meet someone.

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    1. :) - some of our sayings can sound funny when we look at them in the cold light of day :)

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  15. The Age of Innocence or The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton.

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  16. All too often in the quest to find different words to use, we degrade the eloquence of some by using them in too ordinary a situation.
    Great thoughts in this post!
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead
    I am Ensign B ~ One of Tremp's Troops with the
    A to Z Challenge

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  17. I love the word 'desolate', though I don't think I've used it much in writing. I just think it really conveys that deep sadness.

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    1. It does 'sound' right, doesn't it :)

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  18. In French, they say "je suis desolee" for "I am sorry". I always thought that sounded quite extreme!

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    1. LOL! Yeah, I am desolated when you wanna say 'oops', is a bit OTT :)

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  19. I think The Hunger Games fits the bill. I love your theme for this year's challenge. I'll make it a point to visit throughout the month. I also signed up for the newsletter. Have a great day. Eva

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Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear from you. :)