Monday, August 1, 2016

Writers as purveyors of Emotion

Ana muses about writing emotion:

As writers, we want to stir emotional reactions in our readers and take them on an emotional journey. We also strive to convey the emotions that our characters are experiencing as they journey through the story lines we create.

Emotion has been defined as "any relatively brief conscious experience characterized by intense mental activity and a high degree of pleasure or displeasure."

The online Oxford Dictionary defines "emotive" as arousing or able to arouse intense feeling. Synonyms: controversial, contentious, inflammatory, sensitive, delicate, difficult, problematic, touchy, awkward, prickly, ticklish.

When we write, we can choose descriptive verbs and adjectives to convey emotion, but most important, I feel, is vivid dialogue. The words our characters speak are the best way to engage the reader in the emotion of our stories. I tend to "visualize" dialogue like a film -- minus the ever helpful musical score. 

Creating a similar intensity is my job as a writer and is a skill I am still learning. 


  1. My learning curve with emotions involves making sure I include it in love scenes. I tend to get too 'technical' and many times my first drafts read more like a 'how to' manual. Not very romantic at all...But I am learning. :)

  2. Emotions underpin every romance novel, and it's up to us to ensure our readers feel them along with the characters. Not by telling them how the characters feels, but by showing it in the characters' words, thoughts and actions.

  3. I agree with Paula. Emotions should come through the character, through their feelings and their heart. As writers we need to go through everything our characters are going through.

  4. I think visceral reactions go a long way to showing the emotions felt by characters.