Creative writing using emotions

How to Engage Readers with Emotional Writing

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Creative writing using emotions



Why is emotion so important in writing? Because when we connect with our reader on an emotional level, we engage them and keep them interested. Even what should be the most fascinating facts ever revealed will lose reader interest when offered with dry rationality and no attempt to connect to feelings those facts could evoke. As an example, I have several books on Viking history, two of which share an almost identical structure and table of contents.

Is written to engage the emotions of the reader, telling the history in such a way that I am allowed to picture it in my mind. The other is not poorly written by any stretch, but took twice as long to get through because I kept getting bored…despite being truly interested in all the topics covered. It is not the potential for feeling. It is not the tragedy or the celebration, it is the feelings either of those two events evoke.

In fact, if left there, the only emotions we are likely to engender are frustration, anger and disgust. So, how do we do this? How do we build the emotional arc, not just inform the reader it is there? It begins with the language we use. There is a difference between what we might term emotional words and those that are more intellectual in bent.

Take for example, the word accelerate — if you use the term speed up instead, it is more accessible for the reader…allows a sense of emotion not generally associated with accelerate. This is not to say that intellectual language has no place in our writing. Of course it does. Words are our tools and all are at our disposal, but if we want to make readers feel, we use the language to do so. Do you see? Can you feel the difference in these words? We draw characters that are three-dimensional and fully developed.

We do not write caricatures, or depend on tropes, reader familiarity, or anything else that makes it easy on us but awfully boring for readers.

We motivate the actions of our protagonists, antagonists and secondary characters so their actions not only make sense, but are instinctive to the reader. A past experienced, steeped in some deep emotion is a good place to start, but it is not the end. Who of us is influenced by a single event in our past without changing, growing, learning? An emotional story. Finally, and possibly, probably , the most important element of all to writing emotion?

Write from your heart. Let your own emotions get involved. Forget marketing studies, trends, editorial feedback that may, or may not come. Even, for a while, forget the reader on the other end and write what is in your heart to be written. I pass a promise on to you that the late Kate Duffy made to me on this, the story will be better for it. Your email address will not be published.

Emotion is key. Let me say that again. So, how do we use that key to unlock the door to reader engagement? Beyond word choice, what do we do to ensure emotion is forefront in everything we write? Happy writing! Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

Emotional Writing: One Surprising Method for Creating Emotion in Your Readers

You felt like the characters were your friends, so you felt for them. You felt with them. In performances, actors, writers, and directors collaborate to create emotional resonance. When you want to convey an emotion and incite that emotion in readers, draw on your personal experiences. You might need to relive an experience.

I once wrote a scene in which a character watched the caskets of two loved ones descend into the earth. I closed my eyes and recalled the first time I saw a casket descend, and whole thing came flooding back.

It was painful, but it worked. You write, Kate lowered her eyes and swallowed hard, choking back a sob and blinking away the tears that welled up in her eyes. A single image can tell a story. For example, imagine a child, about ten years old, walking a bike down the street. One of the bicycle wheels is bent. This is the story of a kid who took a bad fall. Stories work well when you want to demonstrate something like why kids should wear knee pads. If done well, a story is almost guaranteed to draw a reader into the writing.

Feelings can be revealed through dialogue. Jack thought she had changed her mind. He saw her hand flicker, and for an instant, he knew she was about to reach for him, but then she pulled her hand back, turned on her heels, and walked off. Jack hung his head. Notice the rise and fall of emotion in this dialogue. There are only a couple of cues — most of the emotion is contained within the dialogue itself. This makes reading an experience, and it helps readers connect on an emotional level.

One of the best emotions for writers to engage is anticipation. Get the reader excited by sprinkling teasers throughout your writing. Application to questions with the PSLE format. Find out more. Oct 13, Protagonist vs. Oct 6, Composition Brainstorming Technique! Sep 8, Sep 1, Aug 25, Jun 5, May 26, Jan 29, But on the most basic level, every reader reads for emotion. He wants to feel something. By creating a reading experience that evinces, surprises, and provides space for growth and exploration, we can make a connection with readers through our characters and the emotions they share with the reader.

How about you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section. Using the following prompt, explore the palette of emotions the viewpoint character might feel and express. Dig deeper and think about possible, unexpected emotions that might come, unbidden, to your character. PROMPT: Jewel intercepts a message from her husband, intended for another woman, and discovers he is having an affair.

List down the emotions that come to mind. Then think harder, and jot down a few more. Pick one or two surprising emotions and use them to write a scene, layering them over and around the obvious emotion to create a richer reading experience.

Write for fifteen minutes. Building an Author Website. Something surprising Emotion is complex. Dig a little deeper Instead of focusing solely on the emotion that would logically follow the plot event, allow your character to experience some of the deeper layers of emotion surrounding that event. Further argument for the flashback Another good reason to use a flashback when introducing a strong emotion is that it gives your reader time to process.

These are all normal and expected, but what happens when we peel back some layers and go deeper? Might we encounter relief that the child hit was not her own? Guilt for harboring such feelings? The importance of distance Readers are people.

Using Details And Emotion In Creative Writing

May 22,  · Primary English Tips | Creative Writing: Using Emotions & Expressive Phrases. How do you get your child to use emotions and expressive phrases for the characters in a story? Lots of children find it challenging to use descriptive phrases to help their characters express their feelings. In the case of anger for instance, many children either use Author: Lily Chew. Jun 06,  · Let’s look at a few techniques we can use to produce emotional writing: Draw from Experience. You’ve experienced a range of emotions throughout your life. When you want to convey an emotion and incite that emotion in readers, draw on your personal experiences. Jul 15,  · Emotions are one place where the author should “show, don’t tell,” or “show, then tell.” Show, Don’t Tell, refers to the idea that fiction should create the emotion in the reader by zooming in and giving enough details for the reader to feel as if they are in the story itself.


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