How understanding the throat chakra will improve your writing

All writing is hard, and dialogue may be one of the hardest aspects of writing. Oftentimes, we start by putting two people in a space with a conflict to create a scene. We start writing, and we get them talking to see where the conversation takes them and the story. While just letting them talk can work and eventually lead us to the core of the scene, it can also sometimes eat up valuable time.

In a recent blog post, I wrote about how eavesdropping on strangers’ conversations can help us with crafting characters and giving them voice. Now I’m going to contradict myself, because to be honest, the process of writing is one, big, messy contradiction. What is true for one scene, story, or book, might not be for another. This is the pain and perfection of the creative process. There are no formulaic answers.

Much of the day-to-day dialogue we hear in real life doesn’t belong on the page. Dialogue should be more layered than that. It should accomplish more than just making a scene. It should advance the story, further character development, and more.

The Throat Chakra is the culmination of our expression – our will – that we’ve gathered while identifying our identities in the Root Chakra, our relationships with others in the Sacral Chakra, our ability to be agents of our own lives in the Solar Plexus Chakra, and our level of love and compassion in the Heart Chakra – which is a bridge between the lower and upper chakras.

Before you attempt to get your characters talking, give some thought to all the information you’ve amassed about them by studying them through the lens of the lower four chakras. Think about their desires and motivations. Think about their self-image and self-confidence or lack thereof. Think about their fears and vulnerabilities.

Rather than force them to say what you want, let them be their own free agents. Let them show their not-so-desirable sides – even your protagonist (and even if the protagonist is you). Show them in all their frail humanity. They will thank you for it, and your readers will thank you for it.

Which of your characters has been giving you the most trouble? Write this character’s monologue, telling you what you’re not letting them say, and see what you discover. (Let her/him be in control, for a change.)

How understanding the throat chakra can help your writing

So far, we’ve looked at how understanding the Root, Sacral, Power, and Heart chakras can help with our writing. This week, we’re looking at the Throat Chakra.

The Throat Chakra is about recognizing free will in ourselves and in others and accepting it with compassion. It has to do with how we use our voice to express our will.

image from chakra-anatomy.com

image from chakra-anatomy.com

As with previous weeks, we first have to begin with a framework of some kind, and I find it’s usually easiest to begin with gender and age.

This week, let’s work with a 15-year-old female. When we consider that the Throat Chakra develops between the years of 29-35, we can already see how viewing this character through the lens of the fifth chakra can help build in some inherent tension in the area of self-expression.

From a generative stance, then, if we draw on one of the primary fears or negative manifestations of this chakra, we can begin to create a foundation for a story. Let’s use the fear of having no authority within the tribe. This is a reasonable fear for a teenager, as adolescence is a time when we attempt to individuate from our tribe so we can become autonomous. We can then begin to think about what this character isn’t expressing herself or being heard.

From a corrective standpoint, if we’re already working with a 15-year-old girl who is having issues within her family regarding her desires and her ability to voice them and be heard but we aren’t sure where to go from there, we can begin to ask ourselves questions.

1) What does she want that she’s not getting from her tribe – her family?
2) Why she can’t get it?
3) Is she not voicing her opinion for fear she’ll be shut down, not taken seriously, ignored, or abused?

If you can’t get her talking outwardly, get her to talk inwardly. Start to write down her thoughts and go from there.

Where does this take you?

 

 

Fifth Chakra – Throat Chakra – Will Power

Yesterday, I wrote about the Heart Chakra and how it serves as a negotiator, of sorts, between our body and our spirit and how understanding it can

Today, I’m writing about the Fifth Chakra – the Throat Chakra, which is located in the lower throat, in the hollow of the collarbone. In essence, this chakra is about surrendering to our higher power, which means different things to different people: God, angels, Universe, inner strength, or a personal higher form of knowing, which comes from our higher selves. This chakra bridges the gap between our heart and our mind.

Caroline Myss says that ALL illness has a connection to the fifth chakra, because choice is involved in every detail of our lives and therefore in every illness. This is HUGE. This chakra relates to the struggles – on both mental and emotional levels – involved with learning about our immense power of choice.

Below is a brief explanation of the Throat Chakra and some ways we might integrate its attributes into our writing.


Fifth Chakra – Throat Chakra Blue Sphere1

Location
Lower throat, in the hollow of the collarbone

Primary strengths
Faith, self-knowledge, and personal authority.

Primary fears
Having no authority or power of choice or control with tribe, relationships, ourselves, substances, money, power, and another’s emotions

Positive manifestations
Ability to speak one’s truth with clarity, to believe in love and courage

Negative manifestations
Fear of death and making fear-based decisions based on attachment to outcomes

Lesson
Recognizing free will and self-expression in ourselves and others and accepting it with love and compassion

Aspects we might consider for our characters or ourselves
Faith and self-knowledge, ability to speak one’s truth, fears around money, power, and the emotions of others

Feel free to post it below this post, or email me at:  johnnie@johnniemazzocco.com.


Meditation

Close your eyes and do a short visualization of the Throat Chakra: A blue, pulsating orb in your throat, in the hollow of the collarbone. Imagine it expanding and contracting and spreading out to the sides of your neck and around the back. Sit with this pulsating, benevolent and calm energy for as long as you can, breathing deeply, for 5-10 breaths. Count to ten slowly on both the inhale and the exhale for each one. When you’re ready, let the energy begin to recede and return to its original size. Maintain its presence in your body as you open your eyes and begin the following writing exercise.

Writing Exercise
Fiction Writers
Feel free to use the same two characters you’ve been working with, or create two new ones. Assess your characters, then put them in dialogue with each other about a topic that matters to them, or at least to the protagonist. What are their voices like? What do they sound like? How talkative are they? How loud or quiet are they? Is their word choice similar or vastly different? Do either or both of them have a voice in society? Are they people others look up to and/or follow because they speak the truth? Does either of them sing? Do they speak up for themselves, express their feelings? With each other? With other people?

Creative Non-fiction Writers / Memoirists
Think about your voice. Your speaking voice.

What does your voice sound like both within and outside of your tribe? Write about the actual sound of your voice. Be as descriptive as possible.

How do you use your voice, both in life and in your tribe? Write about what kinds of issues and subjects you get vocal about.

What makes you lose control of your voice or willpower within and outside of your tribe?

 

Sending you mad writing mojo…

 

Johnnie
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