Tag Archives: Emotions

Three Ways to Lessen the Negative Impact of Childhood Experiences on Your Adult Life

girl climbing tree to get a new perspective
Look from Another Perspective. Thank you, Alan Mas and Pexels for allowing me to use this photo.

“Three Ways to Lessen the Negative Impact of Childhood Experiences on Your Adult Life” by Joan Y. Edwards

Honoring Tom Boya’s request for a post about the impact of childhood experiences on your adult life, I wrote this article. I hope it helps.

1.  Are the videos that run through your mind, fact or opinion. Make index cards with new positive belief statements. Look from a different point of view. Discover the facts.

In 1996, when I met my late husband, Carl, he was still trying to get over his father telling him that he was too slow.  Over and over again, his father said, “Son, you are so slow.” His father said this to him continuously since he was  five or six years old. It still made him sad. He still believed it when he was 54 years old.

I told Carl that when you are under the age of reason (usually seven years old), what authority figures tell you seeps down in your mind. Your subconscious mind believes it without question: “I am slow. I am always slow.”

You have no filter. You can’t tell fact from opinion. I told him, “Let’s try to put new belief statements in your mind.  Reprogram your thinking.  Look from another point of view.”

I pointed out to Carl that he had a job where he was in charge of sending out workers to repair gas lines. He also had to notify the city that there was a leak and get permission to dig in the streets. He had to call a locate company to locate the other lines in the area: phone lines, cable lines, water lines. He had to do all this in a matter of minutes by phone because it was critical to the safety of the people. I told him that no one who was slow could do his job. Yet, he couldn’t rush things and forget something either.

I told Carl that he didn’t do things as fast as his father wanted him to, but that didn’t mean he was too slow.

Carl got where he didn’t have his father’s words going through his head any more. He was much happier and accepted himself as he was. He was fine at his speed, not slow at all.

2. Discover the facts. Discard the hurtful opinions. Realize that “If God is happy with you, you don’t have to worry about anyone else.” It doesn’t matter what other people think. What you believe about yourself is what counts. Keep as positive as you can.

When I was five I had a baby brother, my mother and grandfather went visiting neighbors. Mother told me to rock my brother until they got back. When they came back, I was sound asleep still rocking my baby brother.  Mother told me I was too obedient and didn’t have any common sense.

Again this was before the age of reason. Authority figure told me to rock the baby, so I rocked  the baby.

As a teenager and as an adult, I worked hard to research things so that I would not only have common sense, but good opinions about many things.

As a teacher for 35 years, I sometimes got into trouble because I think outside the box. I don’t see through the window like many others do.  But, I’ve learned to respect that it’s okay for me to be me.  I was so happy when I figured out this, “It’s okay if others don’t like or approve me or my actions. As long as God is happy with me, I don’t have to worry about anyone else.”

soar like an eagle
Go Higher in Your Thinking of Yourself
Soar like an eagle. Thank you, Stacy Vitallo and Pixabay for letting me use this image.

3. Your emotional beliefs may be based on false ideas, but these emotions are real. They hurt as a child and as an adult. Look from another point of view. Do something to challenge or change that idea in your mind. Love yourself. Surround yourself with people who love and accept you as you are right now.

Look from a different prospective
Boy llooking through his legs for another perspective. Thank you to DanaTentis and Pixabay for allowing me to use this image.

Sometimes as children, we misjudge things emotionally. For me, I believed I was alone…abandoned. That no one would spend time with me. My Daddy travelled most of the time, but, I really wasn’t alone.  Everyone else in my family liked going out more.  I was comfy being at home.

But something happened to change my thinking.  I spent 3 summers as a teenager with my Uncle Vernon and Aunt Martha. They had seven children: Leonard, Billy, Pete, Thurman, Susan, Cheryl, and Millie. There was always someone at home. We played together. We did chores together.  We laughed together. I didn’t feel alone there. I felt accepted and loved.  We were cousins. However,  they were  like brothers and sisters and close friends to me. Some of them have passed away. But the memories are still treasured in my heart. I am thankful they were there for me and to those who are still alive and help me survive today.

I hope that you will find a way to ease the painful memories of your childhood and replace them with love and forgiveness for yourself and the others in your life. We are all human…imperfect but wonderfully made.

Resources

1. Joan Y. Edwards. “Three Good Childhood Experiences That Influenced My Choices as an Adult:” https://www.joanyedwards.com/2022/06/28/three-good-childhood-experiences-that-influenced-my-choices-as-an-adult/

2. Joan Y. Edwards. “Do You Need the Forgiveness Tunnel?” https://www.joanyedwards.com/2018/05/24/do-you-need-the-forgiveness-tunnel/

3. Key Differences.com. “Difference between Fact and Opinion:” https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-fact-and-opinion.html

4. Tony Robbins. “How to Let Go of the Past:” https://www.tonyrobbins.com/mind-meaning/let-go-past/

Please leave a comment. Share a life experience or resource that helped you let go of a negative experience.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
1. Flip Flap Floodle Firebird Book Award Winner Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?

2. Joan’s Elder Care Guide Practical ways to help make things easier for you and your elder. (I am updating and revising now.)

3. Gospel-Based Crossword and Wordsearch Puzzle E-Books (pdf) Fun for Children’s Liturgy, Children’s Church, Sunday School, Homeschool, Home Bible Study, Senior Centers, and Nursing Homes.

Copyright © 2009-2022 Joan Y. Edwards

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Are You Thinking Straight? Check Your Beliefs.

Are you thinking straight
“Are You Thinking Straight? Check Your Beliefs.” by Joan Y. Edwards

I was searching through papers from my teaching days yesterday, looking for pictures that might need scanning, when I came across a paper I’d saved with hints for clear thinking from Dr. Albert Ellis, a famous pyschologist in the 1950’s.  He designed a therapy called Rational Therapy. Dr. Ellis believed that Rational Therapy was more direct, efficient, and effective than pyschotherapy.  Later they changed the name of his therapy to Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.

Dr. Ellis said there are 12 false thoughts or beliefs that are prevalent with people that lead to problems in our thinking. If our thinking is faulty, our emotions may be out of whack, too. I’ll bet you’re familiar with at least one of these faulty statements.  Dr. Ellis wrote them as we-statements; I changed them to I-statements. I added what I believe are healthier ways of thinking for each of them.

Hint for Writers: You can use one or two of these erroneous thinking statements as flaws for a character in your stories.

  1. Faulty way of thinking: I must be loved by everyone and everyone must approve everything I do. Healthier way of thinking: It’s okay if some people don’t love me and don’t approve of everything that I do.
  2. Faulty way of thinking: I must be thoroughly competent, adequate, intelligent, and achieving in all possible respects. Healthier way of thinking: I don’t have to be thoroughly competent, adequate, intelligent, and achieving in all possible respects.
  3. Faulty way of thinking: Certain acts are wrong or wicked or villainous, and people who perform them should be severely punished. Healthier way of thinking: Certain acts are wrong or wicked or villainous and people who perform them will be punished by God. It is not my job to judge them. Judge their actions, not them as a person. The authorities who govern the area where they live are in charge of  judging and punishing them for their actions, if deemed necessary by the law.
  4. Faulty way of thinking: It is a terrible catastrophe when things are not as I would like them to be. Healthier way of thinking: Things can be okay even when things are not as I would like for them to be.
  5. Faulty way of thinking: Unhappiness is the result of external events and happenings that are forced on us and that we have no control over. Healthier way of thinking: Happiness is the result of my internal beliefs and thoughts about external events and happenings. I can control the thoughts and beliefs on which I focus.
  6. Faulty way of thinking: We should be greatly concerned about dangerous and fearful things and must center our thinking on them until the danger is passed. Healthier way of thinking: I should be concerned about dangerous and fearful things, but I should center my thinking on surviving the dangers and facing my fears.
  7. Faulty way of thinking: It is easier to avoid difficulties and responsibilities than to face them. Healthier way of thinking: It is easier to face difficulties and responsibilities than to avoid them.
  8. Faulty way of thinking: We need a person stronger than ourselves to rely on. Healthier way of thinking: I am as strong a person as I need to be to do what I need to do. I don’t need someone stronger than me to rely on. God will help me.
  9. Faulty way of thinking: Because something greatly influenced us in the past, it must determine our present behavior;  the influence of the past cannot be overcome. Healthier way of thinking: Even if something greatly influenced me in the past, it does not have to determine my present behavior. The influence of the past can be overcome.
  10. Faulty way of thinking: What other people do is vitally important to me, and I should make every effort to change them to be the way I think they should be. Healthier way of thinking: Sometimes what other people do is vitally important to me. I should accept them as they are. If their behavior harms you in some way, explain how you would prefer for them to act. Realize that they may or may not do it. Behavior is a choice.
  11. Faulty way of thinking: There is one perfect solution to every problem, and if it is not found, the result will be terrible. Healthier way of thinking: There is more than one solution with good results to every problem.
  12. Faulty way of thinking: I have virtually no control over my emotions; I am their victim and cannot help how I feel. Healthier way of thinking: If I change my beliefs and thoughts, I can change my emotions. I am a victor; not a victim.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. I’d love to hear which of these faulty thoughts you’ve had and how you changed it. Or tell me a change, you’re glad you made. Resources follow my signature.

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Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards
Flip Flap Floodle Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?
Joan’s Elder Care Guide A guide to help caregivers and elders find solutions.
80 Gospel-Based Crossword Puzzles for Year B Fun for Children’s Liturgy, Children’s Church, Sunday School, and Home Bible Study.

 Resources

  1. Ann Jorn. Psychcentral.com. “Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy:”
    https://psychcentral.com/lib/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy/
  2. Famous Psychologists. “Albert Ellis:” http://www.psychologistanywhereanytime.com/famous_psychologist_and_psychologists/psychologist_famous_albert_ellis.htm
  3. Good Therapy.org. “Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT):” http://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/rational-emotive-behavioral-therapy

Watch the Hands of People When They Talk

“Watch the Hands of People When They Talk” by Joan Y. Edwards

Have you ever watched how people use their hands when they talk?
When people talk, many of them move their hands in rhythm to what they are saying. Mother used to do that. When she walked with her cane, we had to stay our distance or be hit with the cane.
Italians are noted for talking with their hands. Their hands move to emphasize their words. Watch the woman on the right in the following video saying English words uses her hands to make a point:

  • Motivational speakers and preachers use their hands for emphasis. The movement of the hands can show different emotions. Perhaps you can make your own list of descriptions for the emotions shown in the manuscript you are writing at present.

Most of the pictures in the Westside Toastmasters link shows a use of the fingers or hands and hidden meanings of this body language:

When people get angry, what do they do with their hands? They clinch their fists. They raise their arms and hands up high and slam them down on something. Visualize in your mind what you or others you’ve witnessed do with their hands when they get angry. Use these descriptions in your manuscripts to show one of your character’s displaying anger. It works better than telling.

Many of these pictures show meanings of body language. There’s one section about hand signals.

There is a whole language using hands. A universal sign language. Here’s a video with  Melissa from Expert Village teaching you to say words: TV, ball, candy, play, yes, no, and jacket in sign language .

Here are 100 common words in sign language from Lifeprint.com on You-Tube by Dr, Bill Vicars:

Fascinating! Speaking and understanding sign language is a gift.
Good luck with your writing.

Another Resource:

“Teaching Social Skills in Language Arts, Body Language:” http://www.cccoe.net/social/bodylang.htm

Here’s another blogpost in my Watch series: “Watch How People Talk:” http://joanyedwards.com/2013/11/16/watch-how-people-talk/

 

Subscribe to Joan’s blog for new articles of inspiration, information, and humor. Receive free gifts. Join over 100 other subscribers and over 700,000 visitors. You’ll be sent an email to confirm your subscription. Thank you.

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Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2013-2019 Joan Y. Edwards
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Flip Flap Floodle
Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?
Joan’s Elder Care Guide
A guide to help caregivers and elders find solutions.
80 Gospel-Based Crossword Puzzles for Year B Fun for Children’s Liturgy, Children’s Church, Sunday School, and Home Bible Study.

Here Is a New Remote Control to Set Your Mood

 

Remote Control

“Here Is a New Remote Control to Set Your Mood” by Joan Y. Edwards

Here is a new Remote Control to Set Your Mood. Just hit the button for the mood you want to create:

1.Anger

Want to feel angry, but quite afraid of what you’ll do if you face the fact that you’re really ticked off, hit button number 1.

2. Resentment

People have bugged you for days about something. You can’t forgive them. That would be too easy.  So if you want to send daggers to others and also send daggers to you for at least 12 months, hit button number 2.

3. Acceptance

Want to be able to accept things as they are. Want to say, “It is what it is.” “That’s the way the ball bounces.” “That’s the way the mop flops.” Hi button number 3.

4. Joyfulness

Want to be happy and full of excitement, hit button number 4.

5. Fear

Want to be afraid, hit button number 5.

6. Love

Want to be able to love all the people and events, and situations that bug you, all the people who just hit your last nerve, hit number 6.

7. Courageous

Want to be able to have the nerve to try new things or stand up for yourself or others, hit number 7.

8. Surprise

Want to be surprised, feel wonder, astonishment, or amazement, as at something unanticipated., hit number 8.

9. Lust

Want to want what you can’t have. FOOD, MONEY, CONTROL. Want an abundance of what you can’t have. Even after you’ve had enough, you want more, more, more, hit button 9.

10. Peace

Want to feel at peace with yourself and everyone and everything in your life, hit number 10.

11. Grief

Want to be sad, cry, or feel sorrow any time of day for no reason at all or for thousands of reasons at one time, hit 11.

12. Apathy

Want not to care one way or the other what happens to you or anyone else in the world, hit number 12.

13. Disgust

Want to feel profound disapproval of yourself or someone else, hit number 13.

14. Awe

Want to feel a great respect for someone or something, hit 14.

15. Laughter

Want to enjoy the healing effects of the physical act of laughing which is a cure for confusion and sadness, hit 15.

16. Compassion

Want to show compassion and do something to lessen your own or another’s suffering, pain, and sorrow, hit 16.

17. Distress

Want to feel hunger or discomfort over every little thing and each big thing that happens to you or around you, hit button 17.

18. Hatred

Want to feel hatred toward yourself or someone else or a group of people, for good reason or for some reason with no true basis at all, hit 18.

19. Satisfaction

Want to feel satisfied with yourself or others in jobs or the way you or someone else handled a situation, hit number 19.

20. Pride

Want to feel proud of joy be proud of your accomplishments and increase the value of who you are, the group you are a member of, and realize the powers you have to do good, hit 20.

21. Forgiveness

Want to forgive yourself or someone else for something they have done wrong, and have the peace cover them and you, hit 21.

If you want to feel more than one emotion at a time, hit the first number, then hit the + sign and punch in the next number.

If you don’t have this particular model of remote control, you can use the one for your television set. Check the batteries. Make sure they are good.

Thanks for reading my blog. I hope I gave you a chuckle.  That was my intention. I needed a chuckle myself. I hope that chuckling is contagious and you catch it, too.

Punch a number to give your characters one of these remotes and see their moods activate in front of you.

I’d be honored if you would sign up in the left hand column to subscribe to my blog. 

It’s an honor to have you as a reader. I treasure your comments. I hope you’ll tell me what you would like for your remote control to do for you.

Laugh your way to success.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2012-2019 Joan Y. Edwards

Show the Inner and Outer Conflicts of Your Characters

Show the Inner and Outer Conflicts of Your Characters by Joan Y. Edwards

To make your writing come alive, show the inner and outer conflicts of your characters. To write a best-selling book for children or adults, show the inner and outer conflicts of your characters. To make writing more fun, show the inner and outer conflicts of your characters.

To help you do this, invite your main character to visit you today.Your main character’s name is Dave. I took the liberty of inviting him for a visit with me. Your name is Best-Selling Author – (insert your name here). I believe your main character will help you find his inner and outer conflicts if you do this.

Best-Selling Author: Hello, Dave. Thanks for coming..

Dave: To tell you the truth, I didn’t want to come.

Best-Selling Author: Why not, Dave? What’s the problem?

Dave: I’ve got too much on my mind.

Best-Selling Author: I’m sorry to hear that. Tell me what’s wrong?

Dave: I want to spend the weekend fishing at the lake with my son.

Best-Selling Author: Why can’t you do that?

Dave: It’s his mother’s turn to have him this weekend.

Best-Selling Author: Have you asked her to switch weekends with you?

Dave: I’m afraid to ask her. She gets really upset when I suggest a change in schedule. Then she might not let me see him at all. I haven’t seen him in six weeks. I’ve had to work every weekend.

Best-Selling Author: Wow! That’s too bad.

Dave: There’s another problem, too.

Best-Selling Author: What’s that?

Dave: I was supposed to be off this weekend. My boss says I need to be at the open house on Saturday and Sunday. We’ve got to sell that house. If I don’t sell that house, I’m going to be out of a job at Sell Fast Realty.

Best-Selling Author: You’re afraid your boss will fire you if you don’t show up for the open house. You’re afraid you ex-wife won’t let you switch weekends so you can have your son. How do you feel about all this, Dave.

Dave: I feel threatened on all sides. I’ve got to have the money from the job. I also need to be with my son. I want to be dependable.  I need to be respectful of my ex-wife’s feelings. I need to be respectful of my own feelings. I don’t see how I can win.

As you can see from this dialogue, Dave has to solve his inner conflicts before he can tackle the outer conflicts in his life to get his goal of going fishing with his son.  In his mind he’s having to choose between his job and getting what he wants is to spend time with his son. He is going to have to visualize himself succeeding before he will be able to solve his problems. He’s got to change his current belief system, learn new facts, learn new skills, get a different attitude to win in spite of the odds against him.

Look at your characters. What is their big outer conflict? What are the other conflicts? What are the underlying inner conflicts? Figure it out.

To gain more readership, show conflicts on every side of your main character so he is forced to make a change.  He must be able to win inspite of his flaws. His flaws and the consequences of his actions takes him down to the very deepest and darkest of situations, however he figures out a way to win.

Does your main character have a body feature that helps or hinders him? A huge nose, a big bahonkus, small ears.

Does your character own a pet or a person as a sidekick that is both a pain and a blessing, intermittently. For instance, sometimes the pet helps and other times it blocks the main character from achieving his goal.  One day the sidekick gets him two steps ahead of the problem, but the next day he makes a colossal mistake that puts the main character behind the eight ball. The sidekick can also be used to add humor when the tension is tight.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidekick

Choose meaningful blocks, walls, and full blockades so that your character sinks to the worst situation possible during the framework of your story before they have the epiphany-the aha moment that leads them to defeat the enemy. This aha moment enables them to dissolve blocks, walls, and blockades no matter how strong they are.

What does the main character want more than anything in the whole world?
Give three physical, close environment, world environment  (outer conflict) reasons why he can’t get it?
Give three psychological (inner conflict) reasons why he can’t get it or why he can’t have it?

Conflict adds excitement and suspense to the story. Actually the conflict is what keeps the reader turning the page. They want to find out how things turn out for your characters. They want to find out what your main character does and what the consequences are. They want to find out what the villain (opposing force) does each time to stop the main character from getting what he wants.

Show what disturbed him beyond belief.
Show the causes of distress for the main character.
Show the people, things in the environment, the experience(s) that disrupt the regular, normal, ordinary day of the main character.
Show what happens that the main character may try to ignore but cannot.
Show how he reacts on the inside with thoughts, ideas, emotions.
Show his actions and reactions to the conflicts.
Show how he deals with this problem, internally and externally.

The internal conflict comes when the main character has to choose between two unwanted solutions to the problem. For example:

one moral, one immoral
one where he loses money, one where he loses love
one against his family rules, one against club’s rules
one that might hurt his friend, one that might hurt himself
one that might win the trust of his friends, one that would make him untrustworthy
one that makes him lie, one that makes him tell the truth

These mixed emotions from the conflicts add the tension to the story and make people want to read it to find out what the main character decided to do and what the consequences were for his actions….did it bring him closer to the goal, or bring him to his last breath.

I hope you enjoyed my blog post. Please leave a comment. If you haven’t subscribed to my blog, I would be honored if you would.

Keep writing in spite of all the conflicts that try to keep you from writing your dream story. Never Give Up. Put a picture of you as a paid published author in your mind. You are a paid published author in your mind before you get that way on paper.  You are a New York Best-Selling Author in your mind, before you are in reality. You can do it. Yes, you can. Go for it.

Do something to celebrate being you!
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright 2011 Joan Y. Edwards. All rights reserved.

Put Universal Conflict, Theme, and Emotions in Your Story

“Put Universal Conflict, Theme, and Emotions in Your Story” by Joan Y. Edwards

Editors ask: What is the universal theme of your story? information book? article? poem?

What do you answer? Are you clueless? Perhaps I can help.

I went to the Oregon Coast Children’s Book Writers Workshop in Oceanside, Oregon from July 12-16, 2010. I was sharing a poem I wrote. The editor wanted to know what was my poem’s universal theme. What I had thought was a universal theme was really not universal. It was regional or subjective. Therefore, I did research to find out more about the subject of universal theme.

But first you have to know what your conflict is. To gain more readership, make your conflict one of the universal conflicts listed below.
What does the main character want that he cannot get or have?
Conflicts:
Conflict adds excitement and suspense to the story.
What disturbed him beyond belief? What is the cause of distress for the main character?
What disrupts the business as usual of the main character?
What happens that the main character may try to ignore but cannot? He has to deal with this problem, internally and externally.

The internal conflict comes when the main character has to choose between two solutions to the problem: one moral, one immoral; one against his family rules; one against club’s rules; one that might hurt his friend, one that might hurt himself; one that might win the trust of his friends, one that would make him untrustworthy, one that makes him a liar, one that makes him tell the truth; mixed emotions add the tension to the story and make people want to read it to find out what the main character decided to do and what the consequences were for his actions….did it bring him closer to the goal, or bring him to his last breath.

Universal Conflicts
In a story you have one of the following universal conflicts played out:
Archetypes
Man against Man
Man against Self
Man against Nature
Man against Society
Man against Family
Man against the Universe
Man against Machines
Man against Institutions
Man against God
Man against Time
Man against Destiny

Never fear: Your story will probably fit into one of the universal conflicts listed above.

Goals Main Characters Struggle for, Search for, Need, Want
Acceptance, Admiration, Ambition, Approval, Attention, Authority, Awareness, Beauty. Belief, Belonging, Choices, Commitment, Community, Compassion, Cooperation, Courage, Dedication, Dream, Education, Equality, Experience, Faith, Family, Friendship, Godly love, Good, Gratitude, Heroes /Heroic Figures and Actions, Honesty, Honor, Hope, Human Relationships, Humor, Identity, Independence, Individuality, Innocence, Justice, Laughter, Law and Order, Live forever, Love, Loyalty, Marriage, Money, Morality,
Nature, Nonviolence, Passion, Peace, Perseverance, Possibilities, Power, Principles, Rebirth, Redemption, Religion, Respect, Responsibility, Romance, Sex, Spiritual enlightenment, Success, Taxes, Time, Trust, Truth, Understanding.

Forces Opposing Main Character, Keep Him from Reaching His Goal, Struggle Against, Has to Triumph Over, Doesn’t Want, Opposite of Goal, Perils of, What the Main Character Doesn’t want:
Accusation, Alienation, Ambition, Authority, Beliefs, Betrayal, Blame, Challenge, church, Coming of Age, Competition, Corruption, Country, County, Court, Crime, Death, Deception, Despair, Destruction, Disallusionment of adulthood, Disapproval, Distrust, Envy, Etiquette, Evil, Faith, Family, Fate, Fear, Forbidden, Freedom, Future, Government, Greed, Grief, Guilt, Handicap, Hatred, Hospital, Initiation, Injustice, Institutions, Jail, Jealousy, Justice, Lack of compassion, Lies, Loss, Materialism, Nation, Nature, Nature as dangerous, Oppression, Past, Power, Persecution, Poverty, Prejudice, Pride, Prison, Problems, Punishment, Rebelling, Rejection, Religion, Responsibility, Revenge, Rules, Sacrifice, Schools, Self-Doubt, Shame, Society, Taxes, Time, Town, Tragedy, Vengeance, Village, Vulnerability, War.

After you finish writing your story or when you’ve finished your outline, what has your main character learned from his conflict? What did the main character learn in his battle against one of the conflicts listed above? This is the theme. Make it a universal theme shared by all mankind, so that all of mankind will want to read your book.

The Universal Theme
The universal theme is the story’s (author’s) view about life and how people behave. It is the statement the story makes about society, human nature, or the human condition that the author wants to convey to readers. It’s an observation about life that can apply to any and everyone representing the conflicts, dreams, hopes, and fears across cultures and continents, and from generation to generation. It could be the moral to the story, a teaching, or an observation. It transcends race, gender, sexual preference, and creed. Some examples are love, peace, friendship, and other concepts about life.

Universal themes exist because people worldwide go through the common human experiences of being born, experiencing anguish and joy, and dying come from emotions and that touch and can apply to any and all cultures, genders, ages, sexual preference, creeds, geography, historical periods, and genres.

The universal theme is the story’s (author’s) view about life and how people behave in a particular situation. It is a statement the story makes about society, human nature, or the human condition through the author’s words and characters. The theme is universal when it transcends race, gender, sexual preference, creed. cultures, continents, and generations representing the conflicts, dreams, hopes, and fears such as: love, peace, friendship, and other concepts about life that can apply to any and everyone.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Conflict of Nature against death
You do not have to worry about dying and death. It’s a natural thing.

Law and Order Television Series by Dick Wolf
Conflict of Good over Evil – Dick Wolf presents both sides of the issues
Even with the latest technology and evidence, police and district attorneys do not always win their cases against evil.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Love against society, family, death
Love can be so passionate that one would prefer death to living without the loved one.

Universal Emotions

Emotions Are Universal.

Put emotions in your story. It makes your characters come alive. One way to make your story have universal appeal is to add the tension of opposing emotions. We all feel mixed emotions every day. Should we do this? We shouldn’t do that. It’s smart to do this. How could I be so stupid? How could he be so naive? What’s the wisest choice? What are my choices? Do I get a choice? When a character has two or three choices and none of them are very good, it’s tension time for reading and living, and it makes the reader want to turn the page.

All people experience emotions. Putting believable emotions into your story will help it reach more readers.

Here are Paul Ekman’s Big Six Emotions
Anger
Disgust
Fear
Happiness
Sadness
Surprise

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emotions
Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions Robert Plutchik used the above six emotions and added two others below:
Acceptance
Anticipation

Ekman’s Eleven Other Basic Emotions
Amusement
Contempt
Contentment
Embarrassment
Excitement
Guilt
Pride in achievement
Relief
Satisfaction
Sensory pleasure
Shame

The Sedona Method by Hale Dwoskin gives nine emotions
Nine Emotions
Acceptance
Anger
Apathy
Courageousness
Fear
Grief
Lust
Peace
Pride

Nine States of Emotional Empowerment
https://www.amrutam.co.in/navarasa-9-states-of-emotional-empowerment/

10 Emotional Triggers That Are Delaying Your True Purpose
https://chopra.com/articles/10-emotional-triggers-that-are-delaying-your-true-purpose

Swati Chopra from New Delhi, India says the nine rasas are:
Distress (hunger, discomfort)
Happiness
Satisfaction

Love
Compassion
Awe
Peace
Laughter
Valor
Fear
Disgust
Anger

Here are websites with information about emotions:

  1. http://www.clipartguide.com/ Great! Pictures matched with emotions
  2. http://www.feelingfacescards.com/
  3. http://www.eqi.org/fw.htm
  4. http://www.eqi.org/cnfs.htm
  5. http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emotions

I hope you enjoyed my blog post. I hope I enlightened you, rather than confused you. Please let me know if I helped you make your writing appeal to more people, to make it more universally appealing. Capture this universal appeal and you’ll capture an editor’s heart!

Don’t give up on your writing. Never Give Up on winning and resolving conflicts that come your way.

You are a published author in your mind, before you get that way on paper.  You can do it. Yes, you can.

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2010-2021 Joan Y. Edwards

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