Heal Me, O Lord

Heal Me, O Lord

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Unto thee, I lift mine eyes

Unto thee, mine heart flies

Grasp me within thine palm

Give me comfort, make mine spirit calm

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I stand here, waiting, waiting

Heart and soul hanging heavy

For love sought, for love sought

Within mine spirit, I am twisted

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Seeking, yearning, needing, feeling

Seeking love, yearning comfort, needing solace

Feeling only emptiness

O mine heart doth beat low

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Heal me, O Lord

Lift mine soul to the skies

Let this despair become quiet

Let this unrest cease from me

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I cry to thee Father

Lifting eyes and arms up high

Pleading, seeking, begging

For a release

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This misery, oh so heavy

Crushing me, troubling mine heart and soul

The weight, lift this weight

Lighten mine heart, cleanse mine soul

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Chase away this fear, darkness and despair

Leadeth me O Lord, unto still waters

Let not the world overcome me

Let thy light guide me

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I cry upon mine pillow at night

Wishing for an end to this pain

Yet it continues on and on

Arrows of darkness piercing deeply

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For love, love sought

I did love, O Lord, with mine heart

The spear of betrayal did plunge deep

Piercing mine bosom

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O Lord, I have loved thee

Why do I feel so forsaken?

Why are the days gray?

Why are the nights black?

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I hold thee in mine bosom, O Lord

I crieth unto thee

Seeking for comfort

Where art thou, O my Lord?

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Should I stand alone?

Should I shun all?

Hearken to mine plea, O Lord

Heal mine soul

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Lift me on the wings of an eagle

Let mine spirit soar high above

Let thy love hold me and heal me

Let thy light guide me

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Thou art mine fortress, my rock and shield

Thy banner I lift high

Thy spirit dwelleth within me

Causing mine pain and sorrows to fly away

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My hope is in thee, O Lord

My trust is in thee

My life is for thee

My love is for thee.

.

By,

Sean Michael Supsky

Saturday, February 11, 2006

21:35

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Characters

Characters are the main driving force in most stories, though there are exceptions. The purpose of a character is to provide a focal point in a story and to use that character to drive the story along. A character can be anything within a story that adds substance. It does not have to be human (or some variation thereof), rather it can be an object as well.

How can an object be a character? This may seem unusual on the surface, but there have been instances where the main character within a story has been a house or some other structure. The object itself is not a living breathing thing, but rather what the writer imbues the object with, what emotional states the object creates with other actors within the framing of the story. One can see this most famously played out in stories of haunted houses (Amityville Horror comes to mind) wherein the house itself was the object of characterization.

A couple more examples would be the Computer in Star Trek and the Com-Pewter in the Xanth novels by Piers Anthony of objects being characters. These are all characters in the classic sense, though maybe not the normal sense. They are imbued with feelings, emotions, thoughts and actions.

There can be many classes of characters within a story-line. There are the Protagonists, Antagonists and secondary characters. The difference between them is seen as being good (Protagonists), being bad (Antagonists) and being fillers (Secondary Characters). Though there are cases where the roles are reversed and the Antagonists are seen as the good characters, otherwise known as Anti-Heros.

Whatever the case may be, the meat of a story involves good characterization to move the story along and to bring about a desirable outcome for the writer and for the reader to enjoy.

The importance of characters, what class they are within a story, is very important to give a story continuity that is seamless. Bad characterization will make a story disjointed and pretty much unreadable and not very enjoyable to your reader.

So what makes a good character? Characters that are fleshed out, that have more than two dimensions within the confines of a story. Characters that readers are able to connect to as individuals, connect to emotionally (that is the best type of characterization, when your readers care about what happens to a character) and that readers can connect to intellectually.

How to best create a character that can meet the above qualifications is largely up to the writer of the story (this seems like a natural sentence, when in fact it is not) as there are at times outside influences that can create a character beyond the writer’s control. Two known cases of this happening are Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot character and Ron E. Howard’s Conan character. In these instances, the writer lost control of the characters and outside forces influenced them as opposed to the writer influencing them. While this may sound good on the surface, it is the writer that suffers the most from out of control characters. But I digress.

Back to creating a good character. As stated before, this is largely up to the writer. Taking all of the learned experience of oneself and being able to apply it to a character is a great way to fashion a character that is likable.

Remember, you as the writer, are creating something that appeals to you on some level. You have an emotional investment in the character, an intellectual investment. These are what you want your reader to feel for the character as much as you do.

Writing a good character can and should come from within oneself so that you are satisfied with the character. Are you comfortable with the way the character is turning out, is that what you would want your character to do in certain situations? What happens if your character were to make a mistake? Thinking in these terms allows you to flesh out a character to be more than just words on a page.

Your character is an investment that will help your story to grow and be worthy of more than just printed paper (though in today’s world, that is becoming a rarity as a lot of publications are becoming electronic). Your character will sell your story to the most people.

To recap on characterization. Have solid characters, ones that are fleshed out. Let the reader of your story have an investment in the character. Most importantly, let your character have a purpose for being. Creating a great character is an awesome experience, but if your character has no purpose, there is no reason for the character in the first place.

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POV: Narrative Defines Your Story

POV, or Point Of View in writing is a great way to move a story along. It can add character and resonance to your story. Depending on which POV is used, a story can have many different interpretations.

In the following examples, we will use Roger, a human, and Max, a dog, to narrate a scene. Each of the characterizations will show how a story can change shape and meaning for the reader. Other examples that will be used will be an outsider narrative and a God narrative.

An outsider narrative shows a scene unfolding where the actions are presented but no internal thoughts. A God narrative is similar to an Outsider narrative except that one is privy to the thoughts and motivations of the characters within a scene. Also with a God narrative, scenes can jump from one character to another without an obvious disconnect.

POV Roger:

I walked into the room and saw Max laying on the floor. He was looking at me expectantly and thumping his tail on the ground. I guess he was happy to see me as it seemed he smiled every time I walked in. I brought the food dish over to him and set it down before him. He licked my hand before he started eating his food. I pet him on the head and then walked back out of the room.

POV Max:

The human walked in with the round thing in his hand and I started beating the floor with my tail. This human always kept me locked in here for long periods of time for no reason. He walked over to me, I could smell the stuff in the round thing, it wasn’t the greatest, but at least I didn’t starve. The human set it down in front of me, so I licked his hand to get it out of the way so I could eat. The human beat me on my head with his hand and then left so I could actually get to the business of eating. As soon as he left, I stopped hitting the floor impatiently with my tail.

POV Outsider Narrative:

Roger opened the door to where Max the dog was sitting. He was thumping the floor with his tail. Roger took  the bowl of food to the dog and put it on the floor. Max licked his hand then started eating. After petting Max on the head, Roger left the room.

POV God Narrative:

Roger walked into the room where Max was sitting thumping his tail on the floor. Roger was happy to see that Max was happy that he was bringing him some food. Roger took the bowl to Max and set it down before him and Max licked Roger’s hand thankfully, then he started eating. Roger pet Max on the head and then left the room.

So there we have a few examples of each narrative process and how each one can have an effect on how a story plays out. Depending on which narrative is used, your story will take a life of it’s own. Once one narrative is chosen, it is common for the writer to stick with the same narrative style otherwise your story can be very confusing to readers and make the story much less entertaining.

There are instances though in which it is permissible to switch narrative styles but this must be done carefully. A great way to do this is through dialogue interaction. There, a character within the story can actually change the narrative style without throwing things off as the reader is set up to expect there to be a narrative shift.

However you want to use your narrative, remember, you are pandering to the reader and to keep them interested in what you create.

Good luck in your writing adventures.

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Writing: Talent vs Non Talent

Writing, for some people, comes as natural as breathing. For others, it is a task that must be worked and honed. Talent in writing comes from within and some do it better than others. A writer without talent does not make a bad writer. It is a skill that can be learned, though it may not be as effortless as a natural writer.

This is not to say that a person that has to work at writing cannot write good. It only means that they have to work harder at it. Having a natural talent for writing does not make a person a good writer either.

Writing is a process that allows a person to put themselves on paper and to present a side of themselves that is rarely seen. It is a great tool for creating an argument and defending that argument.

Natural writers have to work at honing their skill just as other writers do. The talent makes it easier to put the words on paper. Yet if the talent is not honed, it will never improve.

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