Finding the Human in Writing

Have you ever read or watched something that is so profound and well written it makes you look at your work and wonder how you can ever match their achievement?  I was watching the ‘04 Battlestar Galactica and wondering how they took what is essentially a war story and made it so human.  

Characters have desires and dreams.  People struggle with who or what, in this case, they truly are.  The war and fighting are there, but it’s secondary to the people.  I can only dream of putting that much humanity into people in my stories.  You know what though, it makes me want to TRY.

It may be something I can’t achieve but I want to try to make my work have that humanity that we can all connect with.  I know as a writer I am more action than substance.  Many of my characters have flaws, but often they are caricatures, an approximation of humanity that’s just a reflection of what a real person would be.  They are extremes, archetypes, and exaggerations.  

So I am going to do what I do when I don’t know how to do something – I’m going to study it.  Half of writing is what you know, be it about your world or how a diesel engine would sound if it exploded.  With all the writers out there, someone has written about this and I want to grab that knowledge, hold it and unleash it into my own work.  

Maybe with a little learning and luck, I can write something approaching that kind of power.

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