How to Include Feelings in your Writing

There are so many feelings and some are very complex, yet they are the heart of any good story. It doesn’t matter if the tale is a romance or not. Even a villain has some kind of feeling as a basis for what he does.

When I was a foster-mom, a therapist gave one of the young kids a page that listed a lot of different feelings. I was impressed with the number of different feelings it contained. Children sometimes have a hard time finding words to express what they feel and that sheet was supposed to help the child. For younger children they had a page full with faces with different expressions. To be effective at writing you need to make your own list and use it a lot.

Once you know which feelings you want to convey, you have a choice. You can either just tell your readers what your character feels or you can help them feel the same way. However, the second choice is the best. Here are some quick examples:

Tell them:            He was mad and getting madder…

Show them:            The man instantly threw the chair against the wall behind him with such force that it fell in pieces to the floor.

Tell them:            The woman stared with hatred in her eyes…

Show them:            The eyes of the woman pierced me to my very soul and chilled the marrow in my bones.

Tell them:            I am in love…

Show them:            The touch of his hand penetrated deep into my heart and I knew he was the one.

Tell them:            They stopped in mid-action and stared toward us furiously…

Show them:            The static air in the room crackled with tension as they stopped breathing to glare at us.

Tell them:            I love you…

Show them:            Her serene and smiling countenance invited me to stay and cuddle her in my arms.

Tell them:            He is gone and I miss him…

Show them:            The quite forest brought his absence back with its shadows and once more I cried in loneliness. Never more would he come back to me.

Hopefully you get what I mean by “make them feel it.”

Now you need to practice and find what works for your book. You will be amazed as to what your brain does when you give it a bit of fuel to work with.

Now go, and happy writings to you…

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply