THE WRITE EMOTION – A writer has done a good job when the reader feels a certain type of way after finishing a piece of fiction. It’s easy to say, but not so easy to do, because the potential pitfalls are many. Here’s some examples. Tell the reader how your character feels. Nope, because a writer should show, not tell. Use short cuts to commonly used emotions. Bad idea, because clichés are to be avoided. Go big with over the top emotions. Yeah, no. Because melodrama should be saved for soap operas, not your writing. What to do instead, you might ask? A lot of this depends on your character’s point of view. If you’re writing first person or third person limited, you’re only allowed to pluck thoughts directly out of your main character’s head. Here are some examples of show, don’t tell. A character in trouble creates tension, because without tension, there is no plot. Reveal character’s physical movements; such as beats, facial expressions and physical actions. Use pacing, foreshadowing, action and suspense effectively. Narrative summary skips parts that drag but are necessary. This places greater emphasis on character’s emotional state when compared to plot driven story elements. Writing characters that transform emotionally allows readers to identify with them, which in turn creates compelling fiction.
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