This week: Writing Emotional TriggersEdited by: Lonewolf
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One technique the writer can make use of to create reality out of fiction is to induce emotion in readers, make them feel what the characters are experiencing. Writer and reader know the fictional events aren't real, but the emotion can be. Readers can fear and feel joy and be excited and know the grief a character is going through. They can laugh and cry, shiver and feel rage, all from reading a story. There is importance in the emotion shown in your story.
Readers want to immerse themselves in other worlds and lives, what writers can do to make that experience more authentic is to make the fictional world feel real. Your own emotions are a good starting point, but in most cases, your characters aren't the same as you. Think about the type of person your character is and what he or she would do when faced with the situation you're writing about. If you're having trouble imagining your character's reaction, try writing down how you think you would react in the exact same situation.
What would you think?
What would you say, or do?
Go over each part of your reaction and ask yourself
Would my character do this? Even if the answer is "no," this exercise may give you a better idea of how your character would react by making it clear what he or she wouldn't do and why. If you're still stuck, go through the same process but use different characters.
Write scenes that show, rather than tell.
Don't say that a character is afraid, giddy, or grieving. Show the results of the characters emotions through the character's actions. Emotions trigger physical reactions, and these are clues readers can use to determine how a characters feels. Racing hearts, shaking, numb fingers, sweaty palms all signal fear,or possibly love when their special someone is around. Also, consider involuntary reactions, such as blushing or gasping. Character action and response is a good place to focus.
No one gets emotional over telling how a person feels. They get emotional when they can step into someone's shoes and experience his or her feelings as if they had the same inside them. If you're having trouble showing the emotion you are trying to express, first you'll want to Identify the emotion. Write down words or traits associated with that emotion. The idea is to develop a list of related words or descriptors of an emotion. Once you have your list prepared, you'll want to take a couple of traits or reactions that you think best fit the scenario and your character, and use them together.
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