Monday, August 12, 2013

Writers Need To Use Emotion

Emotion is a key element in a good piece of writing. Poet, Robert Frost, said it perfectly in today's quote. If the writer isn't feeling the emotion, it is not going to come through to the reader.

In my critique group, I quite often see a critique that tells the writer that they couldn't feel any emotion when they read the submission, that it came across rather flat. Even though the subject may have been one that could be filled with emotion. Why?

Sometimes a writer is afraid to allow their feelings to surface completely. She/he might give little hints but they keep the floodgates closed. The other day I talked about why we write on the blog, and one of those reasons was to share with others. That's fine, but you need to give them whole picture. You need to dig deep and bring those feelings into the words you write. So, why are we fearful? Maybe it's comforting to let difficult emotions lie quietly where they are. It can be painful to dredge them up because then you have to deal with them.

If you want whatever you're writing to be a quality piece, one that reaches out and grabs the reader, then you will have to use all those emotions in your inner self to accomplish that. Do it to share and help others who may be experiencing some of the same feelings and do it for yourself as you deal with whatever it is that you've been keeping below the surface.

Frost references tears meaning sadness. That's far from the only emotions that we want to be able to portray. The list below is only a sampling. You will find many others if you google list of emotions.

1. fear
2. anger
3. joy
4. disgust
5. anxiety
6. worry
7. grief
8. gratitude
9. love
10. frustration

The old show, don't tell tool comes into play when writing with emotion. If you tell the reader that Jane was sad, they aren't going to have much reaction or sympathy. Show them Jane feeling sad and the reader will react in a completely different mode.

The articles, stories and poems that portray emotions will be the ones readers remember. They'll be the ones that editors accept immediately. They're the ones that will make you a good writer.

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