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How to get through to readers emotionally?

So how can you get through to readers emotionally? Like crying, laughing? It's not like I'm going to be mean, I just want my readers to get the story and be with it as if they were in it?

Asked by: K L Mason

  1. Helen Jones on March 22, 2017

    It helps if you feel the emotion yourself while writing the passage - if it makes you feel like laughing or crying while you're writing it, chances are the reader will feel the same way too.

    If you're looking for a practical reference guide, The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi is excellent. It lists emotions alphabetically, then lists the various types of responses (physical, mental) that a character experiencing those emotions will have. I can't count the number of times I've looked at it while writing my own books.

  2. Susan Russell on March 20, 2017

    As Jonathan says the main task is to make your characters human, with strengths, failures and challenges that makes the reader want to see them through to the end of the story. As for expressing emotions, think about all of the sensations involved in an emotion and include some of those when & where appropriate. For example the main character might pick up the hint of a scent that takes her back to an emotional memory (smells are very strongly wired into memory/emotion) - if it's a happy response she might feel the warmth of a blush creep across her face and her heart beat a little faster as a bubble of laughter escapes her lips. If it's a bad memory her stomach might cramp and a cold shiver run down her spine as the memory plays unbidden across her mind's eye. A sad person might move slowly, express little interest in her surroundings, eat poorly etc etc. Very simple examples but they convey a bit more than stating 'she was sad' 'she laughed' Hope that helps.

  3. Jonathan Hopkins on March 19, 2017

    Write characters readers want to journey along with right to the end. I think that's the only way.


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