May 7th, 2014

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Writing Excuses 9.19: Showing Emotion

Writing Excuses 9.19: Showing Emotion

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2014/05/04/writing-excuses-9-19-showing-emotion/

Key Points: How do you make characters show emotion without being effusive, whining, or monochromatic? Some genres want more emotion than others. Know the body and book language. Be careful of using emotion words. One theory is to start with lots of internal motivation, body language, and emotion words, then reduce it as you get farther into the book and the readers "know" how the character feels. Know the difference between a character crying and a character attempting not to cry. Struggling to deal with an emotion can be stronger than emoting all over. Pay attention to the difference between internal motivation and public display. Sometimes you need to change the emotion to make the character protag better. Beware of one tone characters, no matter how poignant the emotion is. Gallows humor can be a useful break. Let your characters hit different emotional beats. Use contrasts to bring out emotions.
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[Brandon] All right. Well. That was a fantastic episode. We're going to force one of these podcasters to give us... Oh, Mary, you've got one. You've saved us.
[Mary] Yeah. We'd talked about this because I just did the month of letters thing. One of the things that I do during this is that I let people write to my characters. It's an interesting writing exercise. So for the pod... For your writing, I would like to invite you to actually write a letter to Jane or Vincent and I will write back to the good ones.
[Brandon] Okay. Now, they should be writing this as if they lived in the time period, correct?
[Mary] Yes. So the time period is 1817. I will write to you real time, so whatever month you are listening to this, it will probably be that month, that date in 1817. The one request that I have is that you do not mention the books because Jane and Vincent don't know that they exist.
[Brandon] Right. You are writing as a person living in that world to Jane or Vincent or both of them. All right. Fantastic writing prompt. So. You guys are out of excuses, now go write.
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