Tag Archive - emotion

Entice Your Readers with “Surprisingness”

This post originally ran on Helping Writers to Become Authors in August, 2019.

Have you ever read a book for a second, third, even tenth time—all to experience the emotion the story evokes? Clearly the elements of the story aren’t a surprise. You know exactly what to expect.

Literary agent Donald Maass says that emotions are most effectively evoked by trickery—when readers aren’t noticing we are manipulating them. He says “Artful fiction surprises readers with their own feelings.”

I can honestly say that, as a reader, the best novels do just that. They evoke such emotions from me—unexpected emotions—that I am stunned by my own reactions.

This doesn’t mean a writer’s key objective with any novel is to accomplish this at every turn. This is a masterful thing to do, but we writers want to evoke emotion throughout our novels—big, small, expected, and unexpected. Even when we know what emotion is being stirred in us, when we see what’s coming, it doesn’t reduce the impact. Continue Reading…

How to Create a Strong Emotional Response in Your Readers

Today’s guest post is by writer and blogger Jackie Johansen:

You are writing your book, and you are excited thinking of others reading it. You understand what your characters are feeling, and you understand what you want your readers to feel.

You know what it is like to feel something from a book. The books that stirred you stick in your mind—they mean the most to you, and they often changed your thinking about ourselves or the world.

You want this for your readers. You want this for yourself.

Often the books that end up on best-seller lists carry a heavy emotional punch. Books that lack emotionality fall flat. When that emotionality isn’t infused in our work, our characters fall flat. The work as a whole can fall flat, and unfortunately the result will be an unmemorable novel. Continue Reading…

The #1 Objective for Your Novel

I’ve been going over all the essential elements you need in your first scene, any of which need to show their heads on the first page or two. I’ve talked about back story, theme, visible plot goals, and the MDQs to this point. If you haven’t been following, I suggest you go back and read the posts beginning with the first week of the year. For this whole year is devoted to the heart of the story, and much of the heart is set up in the first few pages.

If you can succeed at this first scene, you are well on your way to writing a terrific novel. Conversely, if you fail to include all the major elements you need right away, you will lose your reader and that equates to a failed attempt at hooking and keeping your reader turning page after page. Continue Reading…