The Inside Out Challenge - an introduction
The Inside Out Challenge.
"Omg liam that is GENIUS!!! XXX" - Anna Day, author of The Fandom.
Have you ever had a strong emotional reaction to a book?
I have. I find that books, along with music, can arouse in me some incredibly powerful emotions.
There are so many books that have had me in tears, sometimes lying on my sofa crying, sometimes desperately digging through my pockets for something to dry my eyes on while on a bus ride. I still can't think about the ending of The House at Pooh Corner or the last ship to sail from the Grey Harbour without tearing up.
There are books that make my heart sing, and show me that the world, whether it's this world or another one, can be beautiful and special. There are books that make me believe in love, friendship and happy endings.
A few books make me angry. Sometimes I'm angry with the book, at the social injustices it highlights. Sometimes the characters just infuriate me with their stupid choices and ridiculous behaviour.
Very few books disgust me, but there are occasions when I've come across a really unpleasant scene that lingers, uncomfortably, somewhere in the back of my mind. Then there are some books, including some very big selling ones, that mix up romance and abuse in very unpalatable ways.
I quite like it when a book makes me feel fear. Generally this isn't straight up horror. I read a bit of horror and I enjoy it but I feel enough detachment to not actually get scared. More often, I feel afraid of what is going to happen to a character I love, and that adds a definite tension and enjoyment to my reading. Sometimes what we fear is simply a long series coming to an end, and having to say goodbye to characters we've grown to love.
Books are a great place to explore our feelings. We can use fictional worlds and fictional characters as a safe space where we can learn deal with difficult emotions, anything from sexual attraction to dealing with grief and loss.
That's how the Inside Out challenge was born.
For anyone who hasn't seen the Disney Pixar film, Inside Out, it tells the story of a young girl, Riley, who has just moved house to a new area and is struggling to adapt. More specifically, it tells the story of Riley's emotions, as personified by five colourful characters inside her head. Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger all do their best to keep Riley coping, though they end up squabbling and things go wrong. It's a fantastic film, that cleverly blends psychoanalysis with a children's story.
For the Inside Out challenge, I will be asking other bloggers, maybe the occasional author and anyone else who wants to give it a go to tell me about one book that, for them, matches each one of these emotions, and why. The sixth book is one that they know Inside Out. It might not be an easy challenge, but I think it's going to be very interesting!
If you'd like to try, please comment below or send me a message on Twitter @notsotweets
I'm hoping to publish one a week, each Wednesday, for as long as I've got willing participants.