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Feelings may be the key to writing

Feelings may be the key to writing.  I am writing historical fiction, set 50 years ago.  I have been doing a lot of research but I came across a line in a new book I have by Dwight Swain, Techniques of the Selling Writer.  He points out the most important thing in writing is feeling.

Then I realized I have been having trouble getting into the mind of the Weathermen I am writing about.  But I realized, also, having read Swain, that they were angry about the military-industrial complex, and the U.S. War machine. These days I am angry at Donald Trump and many of his supporters . The anger is useful and I can get into the heads of the Weather people because our anger is not far apart.  And 50 years ago, I shared their anger at the War in Vietnam, the US war machine and the death machinery of the US corporate structure.

Similarly I know what it is to abhor violence.  I grew up in a violent family.  My mother broke my nose twenty-five times, my brother raped me, I was thrown down stairs.  My mother was a drug addict/ alcoholic and my older brother followed suit.  It was a miserable family and moods often got expressed by violent behavior.  So I absolutely dread and hate violence.  I even avoid some stories in the newspaper.

So I find it easy to identify with the FBI man who is determined to stop the bombing.  He was determined to stop the violence. I can pour my feelings into him and understand his motivation.

By associating my feelings with both sides, I do get to reconcile by own feelings and heal, to a certain extent.  These feelings are just below the surface in me, and cause me some grief.  I know the integration of them in this novel should help me heal.

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