This is for an October 6th workshop (2012)
Novels and the emotions they evoke
- Just as dialogue differs from conversations, so are novels different from real life. Dialogue is stylized, crafted verbal exchanges of information among characters. Novels are stylized, crafted simulations of life that are written with the intent to tell stories and connect with the emotions of the reader. Are all novels filled with emotions? No; but those with low emotional resonance will tend to feel cold and distant.
- Emotions pull the reader into the story.
- Writers do not need to feel an emotion when writing a scene, but they do need to tap into the emotion. They need to know how to convey the emotion to the reader and get them to feel it.
Techniques to use
- Write in scenes that show the reader through character action and response rather than in narration that tells what happened. Help the reader step into your characters' shoes and feel what the character feels.
- Help the reader identify with your characters by making your characters sympathetic. The better the reader gets to know and understand your characters, the more likely they are to identify with them. The tragedies that happen to strangers will not mean as much as tragedies that happen to friends and family.
- Alternately, make your characters unsympathetic (e.g., show them being cruel and uncaring).
Plotters and Pantsers
People have different preferences about how much preparation they need before they begin writing their novels.
Approaches towards plotting/planning
Your Story Idea
- Creating Emotion in the Reader - written on January 30th, 2011 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill and last modified on February 8, 2011
- A Tale of Two Brothers: The Reader's Emotional Response to Henry James' Turn of the Screw - Laura Sockol
- Writing for the Emotions - By E. A. Hill ©2007
- 3 Steps to Writing a Novel with Unforgettable Characters - Rita Kuehn
- Writing for Emotional Impact - book by Karl Iglesias
- The Motivation-Reaction Unit (MRU) - By Caroline Wigley, original idea derived from Dwight Swain's Techniques of the Selling Writer
- Emotionally Charged Creative Writing Prompts - Posted by Melissa Donovan on August 14, 2007
- 6 Ways To Hack Into Your Emotions And Become Infinitely More Creative - A guest post by Ollin Morales of Courage 2 Create
- How to Weave a Story that Instantly Captivates Your Audience - Sean D'Souza
- Before you type THE END, creating emotional resonance with your final scenes by Karen Schravemade
- The Prosers - Creating emotional resonance by MaryAnn Pope