WORDS OPEN OUR WORLDS
Emotional Importance in Crafting a Good Story mar. 2019
The writing of a good story, whether it is a novel, short story or essay, has a common link between the author and the reader. This commonality lies in the emotion that is bestowed by the author and to the reader.
The author is charged with creating a picture that is locked in place in the reader's mind. How is this done? The key is emotion. Anyone can explain events that may occur, but only when there becomes a connection to that story is the reader engaged and invested in that story.
The reader longs to be tied to the story, unable to pull themselves away from it. As an author we must enlist emotions; joy, fear, anger, sadness, hatred, love, the list could be endless. Every reader and every author experiences emotions daily; put them into play in your writing. Use them to lock the reader into the story.
The secret is to take the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride. Different character actions, different settings and different events within a story to guide the reader through various different emotions at any given moment. This keeps the reader glued to the story.
A character’s reaction to an event, their body language, their speech, their emotions, all can be used to allow the reader to become invested in that character. If a character is feeling emotional pain, you want your reader to feel that emotional pain, therefore you, as the author, must feel it too.
The description of a scene can play just as an important role in cementing a reader’s emotions into the story. The more vivid the wording of the scene the more the reader can visualize the scene and the more they become invested in the scene. Their emotions take over.
Events in a storyline can be used to trigger emotions in the reader. Readers associate with events in a storyline because they may have had a similar event or know someone who has had a similar event. They are already emotionally tied to the event in their memory. Another way is to take away something from the reader that they may have already become invested in, such as a character or object within the story. Loss is a powerful emotion.
There are many ways to keep the reader emotionally tied to the story. It is the craft of the author to portray these emotions through the written word. As an author read what you write and decide if you're getting the emotional point across to the reader. If so, you’re creating a wondrous experience for the reader.
Excerpts From My Desk
I hope you enjoy these snippets of my novels:
From: Green Haven Chapter 2
“Green Haven needs to keep moving forward and stay competitive. I believe that was part of your pitch to me for Pharma-junk. Wasn’t it?” Kyle’s bitter tone was not missed by Cathy or Dr. Oliver.
“I believe what Kyle is trying to say is that you were hired to do a job and sometimes overreaching can be disastrous. It might be better to continue within the scope of your position and not stray.” Dr. Oliver’s words came with a smile but cut to the bone.
“What I’m saying is that you have enough to do, so just worry about doing it right.” Kyle’s eyes were on fire. His rage was unmistakable.
Cathy said nothing. She was deflated after the meeting. She’d been put in her place. The Director of Nursing whose powerful stride and straight shoulders yelled authority now felt as though she was hobbled and slumped by the weight of her defeat. The hazel glares the staff could expect to come down the hallway were now focused mainly on the brown speckles that tried to make their escape from the imprisonment of the floor tiles. The plain, but sentimental watch was given to Cathy by her mother upon nursing school graduation banged against the handrail, pulling her back to the present as though it was trying to remind her the day had ended.
She went home to her two-bedroom condo, uncorked a bottle of red wine, poured a glass and opened the fridge. She slammed the door closed. Food was not on the menu, at least not at this moment. She sat on the leather couch she bought after her three-month probation period at Green Haven was over.
Here you can find my recommendation for the month. If you have read a book, article, or blog that you think others might want to know about, send it to me and you could find it listed here.
1. The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler
2, Winter of the World by Ken Follett (this is the first book of a trilogy)
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Perhaps you have an idea for a book, article or blog and need some help getting started, or you're stuck, get in touch with me. I would love to help or share what I have learned. If you're interested in having me lecture please let me know.