View Full Version : Problem: Expressing my thoughts & feelings
August 30th, 2005, 01:07 PM
If I feel strongly about something, anything - it could be a political issue, a sports team, a job-related issue, a family discussion, or most importantly when I am writing - I can't seem to articulate it effectively. If I am in a "friendly" discussion with ummm let say my father in law and he asks me "why?" I feel that way - I can't answer. I just know I do. It is frustrating and he wins the "discussion". If I am writing and in my minds eye I can see the scene - the landscape, the characters, the clothing, the weather, their thoughts etc...I can't write it down. It becomes a jumble of "thoughts". I call it an articulation problem. Anyone ever overcome this? or have any clue as to what I might be talking about. Even this post seems ineffective to me...
August 30th, 2005, 01:39 PM
While I don't necessarily have a problem with articulation, the points I articulate aren't actually the real points I want to make. I've been known to notice this midsentence; since I can often portray pretty jumbled concepts, it happens that I defeat my own argument, before the one I'm arguing with has actually understood it. Needless to say, having meaningful arguments with me can be very taxing... :o
August 30th, 2005, 02:40 PM
If I am writing and in my minds eye I can see the scene - the landscape, the characters, the clothing, the weather, their thoughts etc...I can't write it down. It becomes a jumble of "thoughts". I call it an articulation problem. Anyone ever overcome this?
I'd imagine you'll get 10 different answers to this from 10 different writers.
I would suggest starting with an outline. Some people think this stifle creativity and such, but I really think it would help you organize your thoughts. To begin, I wouldn't even worry about trying to impose a structure on your thoughts (maybe 'outline' isn't the best term for this). Basically, write down every random element that has been bumping around in your brain. Get it out on paper (or a computer screen). Then start matching up similar ideas (characters, settings, plot components). As you organize these seemingly random bits, an overall structure should appear. If not, start tying these bits together with plotting, etc. Although I don't do this to write fiction, I use similiar methods when I'm writing tech documents for complex systems. As intially presented by the engineers, these can seem all over the place. One guy developes the interface, while the gal next to him is working on output. Although these people understand the overall purpose of the system, they're not good at articulating it (and thus I make $$). There is order to your random thoughts, its just a matter of teaching yourself to find it.
Another method that may work for you is the 'Snowflake Method of Writing'. Take a look-
August 30th, 2005, 03:05 PM
As for writing: Would role-playing help? Writing dialogue in play-format (A: Nice weather! B: You call that nice? Well...) and then fill in the blanks one at a time?
Writing-wise, I don't really have the problem, as often I just write down a string of words I think sounds nice; then I read it and figure out what it could mean; then I add another sentence. (I sometimes do plan a scene around a punch-line; write it step for step; but the punch-line invariably doesn't fit anymore... lol.)
August 30th, 2005, 10:07 PM
Articulation is power.
Effective debating is difficult, and I by no means am an expert, but I do tend to do a lot of it. It keeps life interesting. The first bit of advice I have is to keep a cool head. When you're discussing an issue that's very important to you it's really easy to allow your emotions to take over. Remember, the most dangerous thing in the world is an ego.
If you've ever watch a politician during an election, you might notice that they don't ever answer a direct question (or really say much of anything for that matter). They make statements. As soon as you start trying to answer someone else's questions, you appear to be on the defensive. Ask your own questions. Point out the facts that you feel are important. Note however, that I feel this is not the way to solve problems. Effective problem solving involves listening and rational and open consideration for alternative points of view.
Be armed with knowledge. If you feel passionately about a subject and you don't understand it - maybe it's time for a little research. Read and listen to what others have to say on the issues - both for and against. Pick out the points you agree with and figure out why you disagree with others. Most of the more common debates out there can really be broken down into just a few points. And just as they say the best magicians only know one trick, but know it well - the best debaters only... I'll stop before I dig myself a hole.
Now all of this applies to writing as well. Research - know first of all what you're writing about. Sometimes it's difficult to articular because you don't have the proper vocabulary - even though you can visualize everything. Read how others have written about similar things. Make statements in your writing. And finally make sure that you're not so lost in the passion of what you're writing about that you can't concentrate on the details.
Oh, and practice. Repeat this one as often as you can.
August 31st, 2005, 01:54 AM
If I am in a "friendly" discussion with ummm let say my father in law and he asks me "why?" I feel that way - I can't answer. I just know I do. Why? Can you trace the steps to your strong feeling? I believe you must have reasons for your feelings, but maybe you're too passionate at the moment to think of the reasons. I think everyone gets like that sometimes.
My dad was always extra-cool and level-headed, never lost his temper, so he tended to win every argument or discussion. I dealt with it by trying to match his debating technique. It's helped me in some situations, and harmed me in other situations. My sister had trouble matching his technique, because she'd get very upset, and eventually she found it impossible to talk to him at all.
If I am writing and in my minds eye I can see the scene - the landscape, the characters, the clothing, the weather, their thoughts etc...I can't write it down. It becomes a jumble of "thoughts". I think I know what you mean. It may help if you put emphasis on the most important details of the scene; the details that reveal something new about the setting/culture/character/mood. Involve sounds and smells, if they're significant. The first things you might describe are the things that the POV character would notice first.
Maybe you could provide us with an example of your clarity problem?
September 12th, 2005, 09:35 AM
Just a thought - why not work through this issue as a story? You could have 2 characters who think/feel in different ways trying, and failing, to communicate.
There is a real difference in 'thinking' and 'feeling' (the Jungian model of psychological types) and when 2 people are fairly extreme examples of either, the conversation between them might as well be Polish v Cantonese. :confused: there are similar issues with intuitive types, who tend to suddenly see the whole picture in one go and haven't a hope of conveying this to anyone else without taking up some form of art.
Confused yet? Join the club! :)
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