Adding emotion to stories can be one of the more difficult aspects of writing. Sure, a writer knows what their characters are feeling, but can they make a reader *feel* the characters’ emotions?
I found a great article that was helpful in my own skill-building as I try to better learn how to slow down my writing and make my readers feel my characters.
One thing she says in the article is to “slow it down.”
Counselors tell us that thoughts lead to emotions, and emotions lead to actions. As a writer, you can easily show your character’s thoughts and actions. Readers are smart enough to deduce the emotions based on what the characters think and do. So often it seems writers are in a hurry.
And it’s true. Emotions are processed rapidly, yes, but humans also take time to “study” their emotions, and if not study, certainly to be swallowed by them. So as a writer, it’s important to let your characters feel, and sometimes, drown in their emotions (just not for too long – they do need to surface for air and move on).
Additionally, the article says, “There are two facets of emotion in fiction: conveying what your character is feeling and evoking emotion in your reader.“
Here again, time is king. You need to give your characters the chance to feel and process, and in doing so, you let your reader have the time to imagine themselves as the character.
What do you think is the most effective way to convey emotion? Do you have a favorite book or scene from a book that showcases this skill?