Friday, August 6, 2010

Writing Research - Resignation

Resignation by definition
~ accepts/agrees that something is inevitable or right
~ goes along without resistance

To say that you are resigned to something implies that you were not always resigned.

I tend to think of resignation in the context of an unhappy or beaten person, but it occurred to me that this is not always the case. If you are resigned because you agree that the opposition is in fact right, then you may be happily resigned.


Resignation looks different depending on why the individual resigned themselves and how they feel about the inevitable.

A person resigned to the fact that they were going to die someday might still portray feelings of fear, sadness, anger, happiness or peace depending on why the person was resigned. (Did they have faith? Hate life?) The motivations for resigning are key to the mannerisms displayed.

When writing resignation I would ask

~ Why wasn't my character originally resigned?
~ What are the motivations/reasons for the change of heart/mind?
~ What is the resulting emotional/mental state?

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Have any specific input on how to portray this emotion in writing?

Thank you all who have given me input thus far. I truly appreciate it and would appreciate any further light you could cast on the subject!

The emotion for this next week is Jealousy. Last weeks emotion was Grief. Best Blogger Tips


  1. Observing people in public settings usually provides good clues as well as characteristic mannerisms, gestures, emotional signals, etc.

    Hospitals and doctor's office waiting rooms are a good place to find people dealing with resignation. There is no way to know exactly what they are processing (unless you ask them) but not knowing and inferring from mannerisms provides the best insight anyway.

    Hope this provides some value too you.

  2. A matter-of-fact attitude. That, or apathy toward everything. OR flippancy.

  3. Heavy sighs. Hung heads. downcast eyes. sagging in a chair. Shrugging the shoulders.

    These are all mannerisms of resignation.

    Failing to get out of bed, or get dressed, or take care of one's self (bathing, shaving, etc.)

    These are also signs of depression, which can come from resignation.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Thank you all for your input! I truly appreciate it!

  5. Could also be giving up on trying to change a situation eg. cure the disease of a love one or improve a relationship. Then you show the character moving on such as looking for new support groups to prepare for the inevitable or a new job etc. In this case I expect the character to be flooded with feelings of thankfulness, euphoria vs. guilt, heartbreak. Sort of bipolar, so his/her behavior will be quite erratic.

  6. Interesting, you can almost say that it is both a giving in or giving up as well as a means to get you to press through something going on in your life. You did a good job of dealing with resignation. Hilda

  7. My first thought when I think of resignation was, like you wrote, of a beaten down person. However, a person can be happily resignated, though when you're writing you have to say the character is happy with it.

    Great post! :)


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