Friday (Craft): Building Emotion in Your Story

emotion212013Readers read fiction for the emotional kick they get out of it.  A story that is dense with emotion is a story that will keep your reader turning pages and wanting more.

But how do you create this emotion in your story?  Here are a few proven tips:

1)  Use all five senses when you write.  Most authors do well with the sense of sight and the sense of hearing, but they often forget to include the sense of smell, the sense of touch, and the sense of taste.  When you add these latter three senses to your fiction writing, it will climb to new heights of emotion.

2) Get inside your characters’ head as deeply as you can.  Experienced authors call this writing in deep point of view (POV).  When you write in deep POV, you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch everything through your character.  You become your character.  This identification of author with character enables your reader to identify intimately with your character as well.

3) Use language that describes the physical reactions that your character is experiencing.  Do not name the feeling (e.g., Laura was angry).  Instead, write, Laura clenched her fists and squared her jaw. This latter technique SHOWS your reader what Laura is feeling.  Showing vs. telling will greatly elevate the level of emotion in your story.

Try these techniques on the current story you are writing.  If you’d like, share your results with us.

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Photo Source: Microsoft Clipart

 

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