Tag Archive - Masterful Emotion

The Secret Formula to Writing the Commercially Successful Novel

I’ve been writing novels for more than three decades, and while I have learned a lot about how unpredictable the market is, there are some specific characteristics that have consistently set apart novels that see success. You’d think every informed novel-writer would know what these are.

Here’s the thing:

I critique more than 200 manuscripts a year (95% novels). Even the best ones seem to be missing the key ingredients for a commercial best seller.

Why is that?

Because few writers have learned the specific elements that identify a great novel with great potential. And many of those elements are not what the average fiction writer is taught.

Sure, you need a great plot, an intriguing and fresh premise, terrific characters. And your scenes need to be tight time capsules of “show, don’t tell.”

But a terrific commercially viable novel has so much more. And few books or writing instructors teach what these essential elements are.

Continue Reading…

What Microtension Is and Why Writers Must Master It

Note: This post was originally posted in August on Writer’s Fun Zone here.

Tension is created by lack. Lack of understanding, lack of closure, lack of equilibrium or peace. When your readers have questions, that creates tension. When they need to know what happens next, that is tension.

Masterful writers keep their readers in a constant state of tension. And that’s a good thing.

But here’s something to keep in mind: our characters may be tense, but that doesn’t mean readers are tense in response. A character with a tightened fist or clenched jaw does not ensure readers will respond in the same way. And that might not even be the desired response a writer is hoping for.

What the characters think, feel, and show must be carefully executed to evoke the desired emotional response in readers. Continue Reading…

The Secret to Getting Readers to React Emotionally to Your Writing

Getting readers to feel something from our writing is hard. Even harder is to get them to feel complex emotions that you can’t really name. Yet, a masterful writer will accomplish this. A masterful writer knows exactly what she wants her readers to feel and will write her scenes with that goal in mind.

Hemingway said, “Find what gave you the emotion . . . Then write it down, making it clear so the reader will see it too and have the same feeling as you had.”

Why does this work? Because all humans, for the most part, have the same emotional makeup. Behavior that scares, infuriates, humiliates, or alienates one person will generate the same reaction in others. You will never get 100% of your readers to feel exactly the same, but you can come pretty darn close if you are an emotional master. Continue Reading…

Page 1 of 512345»