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How to write emotions

How to write emotions

What is body language and how do you use it when you write? Use these cheat sheets to help you with your body language descriptions. People react to situations with micro-expressions, hand gestures, and posture. Most of us are not even aware of them. However, what we do with our body language has a huge impact on other people and how they interpret and perceive us. Body language happens when we are doing something. We could be sitting, standing, or walking.

We could be talking or thinking. Body language is often an involuntary reaction to something perceived by one of the five senses.

Using body language is one of the best ways to show and not tell when we write. This is why we are always told to use body language in our writing. When you are completing your character biographiesbe sure to include how your main characters move and talk. This is especially important for your protagonistantagonistconfidantand love interest.

How to Write Emotion: An Experimental Study

They are the characters that hold the story together and they should be as well-rounded and believable as possible. Use this list to help you with your body language descriptions. It will help you to translate emotions and thoughts into written body language. Obviously, a character may exhibit a number of these behaviours.

For example, he or she may be shocked and angry, or shocked and happy. Source for skeleton image. Thank you xx. Love, love, love these! Thanks for compiling them. Michelle Random Writing Rants. It also helps think about the traits a character can have… Every person is different so one can even put individuality into the writing by giving certain characters characteristic emotional expressions. This is dangerous if astute advice.

Anything that aids progress writing is useful, but anything that aids progress stops you thinking — and it is only by thinking that he universe opens a portal and pours out something original. Great information not only for writing but observation of these behaviors in action. As a school counselor I am interested in non-verbal cues from others.

This is great. My first thought was that she was seeing smog! It was painful to read. I got rid of the book. This is a good list. But I believe we can always be a little more creative in mixing them up to denote various degrees and subtleties in an emotion. Yes, Ayan. For example, he may be shocked and angry, or shocked and happy.

how to write emotions

Use these combinations as needed.As a writer, how do you develop mood in a short story or in the chapter of your novel without telling? In other words, can you make your readers feel something without writing like Stephenie Meyer or E.

The twenty-three year old narrator feels he has already washed up and has exiled himself to a sparse town in the deserts of northern Mexico. Orscon Scott Card says one of the best ways to characterize is by talking about motivation. I found it hard to sleep at night. I had nightmares. Before going to bed, I would make sure the door and the windows of my room were securely and tightly shut….

Then I went back to bed and closed my eyes, but having drunk so much water I soon had to get up again to urinate. And since I was up I would check all the locks. This works so well because instead of using the word paranoid, he shows the author doing paranoid things. And later, it says:. When we came out of the classroom, the director was waiting with two guys who turned out to be civil servants employed by the state of Durango. This is probably my favorite part of the story.

how to write emotions

On the horizon I could see the highway disappearing into the hills. Night was beginning to approach from the east. Days before, at the motel, I had asked myself, What color is the desert at night? A stupid question, yet somehow I felt it held the key to my future, or perhaps not so much my future as my capacity for suffering.

Later on, we get even more description of the night, and the description reveals the dark thoughts of the narrator while also making the, somehow, beautiful. To use description to build mood, ask yourself what your character would notice in their state of mind. Focus on colors that seem to show his mood. Sometimes a short burst of telling can be worth paragraphs of showing. Your job as a writer is to figure out when to use which. Write for fifteen minutes. Building an Author Website. Photo by Alyssa L.

And if you post, please be sure to comment on a few pieces by other writers. Have fun! Joe Bunting. Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Parisa real life adventure story set in France. It was a 1 New Release on Amazon. You can follow him on Instagram jhbunting.Glad to hear you found it helpful, Lauren! You're right that emotions tend not to be based in logic, particularly when you're the one experiencing them.

I do like to think, however, that you can logically figure out your characters emotions based on their personalities and the situation.

It just sometimes takes a little extra tweaking and reworking. I'll be starting to edit my MS in the next few weeks and every time you post something about editing, I scribble it all down. This is no exception. Good luck!

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If you have any specific questions, let me know—I might be able to dig something out of the archives for you. This is a great way to refrain from "telling", and can really make a difference to a reader. I find this especially interesting, mostly because emotion is something I struggle with writing the most.

Still, I've noticed concise writing seems to be better, and inevitably more words are used when not stating the emotion outright. I guess the really hard part is trying to find the most precise way to describe something without going on and on My fingers dance across the keyboard to write this comment to you. Avoiding cliches with this is something I find difficult. If I read a cliche it has zero effect on me and it would have been better to write nothing.

So careful choice of words, I think. I agree that concise writing is usually stronger—and I don't think this is an exception. You really only need a couple characteristics to get an emotion across without telling, and you definitely don't want to ramble on and on about anything. Careful choice of words is a great suggestion. Although, I usually wait until revisions to worry about that step, but nevertheless.

Post a Comment. How to Write Emotion Effectively. But showing emotion is sometimes a little easier said than done.

Where do you even begin? But of course this could be anything.A Novel Edit. Beth's Books.

How to Write Physical Descriptions

Reference Books. This Blog's Purpose. Readers like to be touched, moved, by story. They like to imagine themselves in worlds and situations that challenge them, that give them opportunity to do and be something other than what they do or are in their real lives. Fiction, whether in book or film or games, allows people to not only step into other worlds, but to experience those worlds.

To feel beyond their normal feelings. Since readers want to immerse themselves in other worlds and other lives, what can writers do to make that experience authentic, to make the fictional world real for a few hours? One technique the writer can make use of to create reality out of fiction is to induce emotion in readers, make them feel something of what the characters are experiencing.

Readers can fear and feel joy and be excited and know grief. They can laugh and cry, shiver and rage. All from reading a story. Write in scenes, showing rather than telling.

Show what fear or giddiness or grief does to him. Character action and response is a good place to focus. This is a major key for rousing reader emotions. No one gets emotional over a report. Delores was afraid to open the door to the basement steps. She stood at the far side of the kitchen, debating what to do. She bit her lip and tightened her fingers around the cold knob. A shiver shook her.

She inhaled only a shallow breath and then struggled for another. If the reader can identify with a character—with her dreams or habits or choices—he can also identify with her emotions—pains and joys and sorrows. Readers can also identify with the shared human condition, so sometimes a particular situation will resonate with readers even before the character becomes involved. The reader may have a physical response—laughter or tears or shivers—as if whatever happened to the character had actually happened to the reader.

You know how this plays out in your own life. Make your character believable and sympathetic so the reader wants to be that character, wants to go through everything he goes through for the length of the story. Make a character unsympatheticso the reader feels anger or repugnance toward him. A character who is hated has already created an emotional response in your reader.

Your unsympathetic character might be no one of consequence in another book. Cruel characters doing cruel things—cruel in the eyes of the protagonist or the reader—can affect the reader. If the character reacts to the cruelty, the reader can as well.

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If, however, your protagonist has no response to the cruel actions of another character, your readers may feel both bewildered and cheated. Characters must do more than think about the evil of another character. If, however, Sarah had been worried for his safety or has been sitting at his hospital bedside, the reader is connected both to Sarah and her son, and his death can shake up the reader. If they are crushed, the reader can be as well.As writers, no matter what our goals are, there is something we should all strive to do: make our readers feel.

Whether that feeling be hope, happiness, fear, or any number of other emotions, it can be achieved through masterful writing. That is easier said than done, though, right? How can we turn our words into something so real, it gives the reader a punch to the gut or brings a smile to their face?

how to write emotions

Simple as that. Your fictional character can experience the same emotions in different ways. Actors pull from their realities all the time to portray their characters accurately.

Do the same thing in your writing. In other words, the stronger the better. A little disappointment will not be felt as much as rage or grief. Amusement is not the same as glee or absolute joy. The most important things make us feel the most. If your character constantly swings from despair to falling madly in love to shock, it will get old really fast. A little goes a long way.

Give your characters a break to just be normal for a while so when a bombshell does hit, it hits hard. On the spot, it might be difficult to come up with memories or feelings to write about. Every emotion is most powerful in the moment. What triggered the sensation and how did it affect you? You can draw on those journal entries later. Nine times out of ten, the simplest way is the best way. All in all, if you want readers to respond to your writing, remember to be simple, be honest, and be emotional.Robin gives some great tips on how writers can show by action and thoughts rather than by relying on describing bodily sensations.

Be sure to pay attention to this one! So characters are often crying, yelling, and slamming doors.

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Their stomachs are twisting, their hands are trembling, and their cheeks are burning. We hear exasperated breaths and soft sighs. But I have a few problems with this old standby.

I know your stomach is twisting at the very thought. Is he feeling frustrated, slighted, or jealous?

How to Write With Emotion and Make Your Readers Feel

All those—and a host of other primary emotions—can lead to anger. Your hero might clench his fists, but I promise, mine will remain perfectly relaxed.

how to write emotions

And that, my friends, is the point of fiction—to elicit an emotional response. Mary opened her eyes and looked at the clock. Her heart nearly leapt out of her chest. The baby had slept nearly eight hours. But little Jane never slept more than four hours at a time. Something must be wrong. Not again. Her stomach rolled over when she remembered the last time a child of hers had slept too long.

Mary flipped the covers back and stood on weak knees, forcing herself to her feet despite the fear overwhelming her. She shoved her arms in her bathrobe, slipped into her warm slippers, and rushed for the door. Her hands were shaking so badly she could hardly turn the doorknob.

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Finally, she got the door open and ran down the hallway toward the nursery. She threw open the door and lunged at the crib. She peered inside and saw the beautiful pink cheeks of her newborn daughter. Tears of gratitude filled her eyes as she realized her baby was alive. Our character is definitely feeling emotions. Do you think I can get the reader to experience a few of them?

Mary opened her eyes and squinted in the sunshine streaming in through the open window. She stretched, feeling more relaxed than she had since. She sat up and looked at the clock.During these challenging times, we guarantee we will work tirelessly to support you. We will continue to give you accurate and timely information throughout the crisis, and we will deliver on our mission — to help everyone in the world learn how to do anything — no matter what.

Thank you to our community and to all of our readers who are working to aid others in this time of crisis, and to all of those who are making personal sacrifices for the good of their communities. We will get through this together. Poetry that is full of emotion can be an effective way to connect to your reader and share your experience with them. You may try writing emotional poetry to get some of your feelings and thoughts down on the page or as part of a writing assignment for a class.

Writing poetry that is full of emotion can also help to strengthen your writing skills and deepen your work. Once you brainstorm ideas for your poem and get a rough draft done, you may decide to polish the poem and submit it to publications or keep it for yourself.

If you want to write emotional poetry, try tapping into a personal emotional experience and using lots of details and imagery to really convey those emotions. Try to describe the emotion using sensory detail rather than simple descriptions. How does the emotion feel? What does it look like? How does it taste? Use literary devices like personification, metaphors, and similes to add depth to your descriptions and to bring the poem to life.

I can taste its acrid acidity and chew on the sinew. A hulking shadow of a thing, it hangs over me like a cold, dark chandelier. For tips about how to submit a poem to a publication, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No. Sparkly Doughnuts. Log in Facebook Loading Google Loading Civic Loading No account yet? Create an account.