Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Musings: February 22 2015

Musing with Muse

Hello, Musers, one and all!

Sure hope you're all keeping warm and snuggly...or trying to send warm weather to us who are.

How are writers able to capture true emotions within their writing?

We may write reality...and reality within non-real/fictional worlds...but our characters need to feel/read real which includes emotions. Hence the above question...many non-writers have no clue :)

Writing emotions is probably one of the hardest things to do for a writer. I remember when I was writing my second novel After, I had a critique group say that the scenes I had thought were full of emotion left them flat. I was of course, very distressed that these scenes which came directly from my own life, had not gotten the response I expected. So I went back and saw that I had felt the emotion, but I hadn’t conveyed it to my readers. I had to go back to the original scenes and look at them in an objective way. It was as if I were watching TV only it was myself in the scene. Then I put my character in the scene and I wrote what she felt and really showed what her emotions were causing her to do. When I rewrote these scenes people told me they were very moved and they could feel what was happening.

When you are writing about emotions you need to think like your character and not like yourself for the scenes. How would your character react to this action? Would it cause your character to cry or scream or would your character be so frustrated she did nothing? If you do it right your readers will be able to put themselves into the scene and feel the same emotions your character is feeling. Then they will tell you that it brought tears to their eyes. However, if you do it wrong, you might get the comments I received on my third novel that there was no emotion at all. So it’s back to the drawing board for my third novel. The problem with that one is I am trying to write about emotions to actions that have never happened to me and some that have happened way earlier in my life. Also the character is not female, so that makes it even more difficult. However, that is the exciting part for a writer. We just go in and get ourselves so involved with our characters and their lives. I will have to go back to the scenes where emotions play a part and rethink them. The emotional content is there and all it needs is attention to the details of my character’s life.

LESLEY FIELD, new HOT author

Thought I would have another go at the Sunday Musings.

I believe that to capture true emotions requires writers to take themselves into the character. To become the character to live, feel and breathe what the character is going through.  Sometime it’s easy, if you are so caught up in the plot line the feelings come to you without any difficulty because you are already on the emotional roller coaster.  Also thinking of a particular incident can also bring about the emotion you need but more often a particular song can have the same, if not better results.

Recently I was caught up in a plot line I was writing and knew I had to get the whole scenario down. By the time I had finished my hands were shaking, so were my insides and I was absolutely wiped out.  I had to walk away from the computer for a while to recover. Writing something emotional is draining and sometimes, despite all of our efforts, it never seems right.

That’s the joy and dismay of writing, and there again we have emotions!!

I use my normal method of turning the characters loose and letting them play out the scene naturally (rather than trying to force them) in my mind.  That includes their thoughts and feelings.  Getting it all down while everything is sharp in my mind can be an intense and challenging task, especially when long scenes or series of scenes are involved.  I've had scribbling sessions lasting a number of hours that have left me drained, but drained in a good sense because I know I've captured what I wanted.  Editing and polishing are obviously required after such marathons, but the experiences and the emotions I'd envisioned are there.

I capture the true emotions of my characters by layering my action and dialogue. By that, I mean that I don’t try to get it all in one go. I have to take many trips through my book, sit back and put myself in their position, and allow the emotions to flow. In many ways, my characters are as real as my friends and family, they take on a life of their own, and demand the same treatment from me that I give those close to me.

DAWN KNOX, author

Before I write a story, I try to view the series of events in my imagination, like a movie. I identify with the various characters and try to feel things from their perspective, getting to know them as if they are real people.

If I can draw on personal experience, I remember and mentally reproduce the emotion so I can apply it to my character's situation.

My dreams are often very vivid and when I wake up, I still feel the emotion that I've felt in my dream. Obviously, I can't be sure the way I'm reacting is exactly the same as it would be if I'd really experienced the incident but if it's something I haven't already experienced, it's as close as I can get and I harness that feeling to describe my characters' feelings.

Thanks for joining us and see you next week!
 If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman  at

1 comment:

Kenneth Hicks and Anne Rothman-Hicks said...

These were very enjoyable posts! Thank you!