Members of the Point Pleasant Writers Guild enjoyed hearing words of wisdom from guest speaker, Robin Harbrecht, at their recent meeting.
Harbrecht, who is working on her Master’s Degree at Marshall University, and is the daughter of Guild leader, Patrecia Gray, shared some things she has learned on the philosophy of writing and how it fits into society.
Harbrecht said that when someone reads a story, he interprets it through the lens he uses to see the world. Books can be interpreted differently by different readers. She used as an example the story of “Moby Dick.” Harbrecht interprets the story as “Man’s relation with God,” with the ocean representing God and the character, Ishmael, representing “rebellious Man.” Other philosophers may interpret the story differently, depending on their world view and the cultural changes that have taken place.
“A regenerated spirit writes what God gives. One whose spirit is not regenerated may write a different way.”
In writing stories and essays, Harbrecht advised the group to get a message across to the reader without actually using the words. In other words, “Teach, don’t preach.” Another bit of advice included “Don’t tell it. Show it.” By this, she meant that it is not enough to write, “The girl sighed.” A better choice of words might be: “Hanging her head in defeat, the young girl let out a long sigh.” List the emotions of your character. Describe them.
Guild members were encouraged to write about what they know and to include these three elements: 1) ethos, which means ‘ethics’. Make it read like you know what you’re talking about from experience; 2) pathos which involves emotion. For instance, make the reader laugh, cry, get angry, etc.; and 3) logos, which deals with facts and details. Research for accuracy.
In addition to the guest speaker, others attending the meeting and partaking of a reception given in Harbrecht’s honor included Patrecia Gray, Marilyn Clarke, Max Price, Carol Newberry, Sue Underwood, Joseph Ingerick, April Pyles, and Feryle Lawrence.
The Point Pleasant Writers Guild meets from 1 to 3 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at the Mason County Library on Viand Street. All those interested in attending are welcome.
Submitted by April Pyles.