Recently, a friend of mine emailed a question about how to let the reader in on what another character other than the main character is feeling. I promptly answered, and then realized it would also make a great topic for a blog post. I haven’t touched on emotional writing for awhile, so here we go. Let’s dive into how to become an emotional writer.
Ever read or written a sentence like this…..
“You can’t be serious? How could you do that? Roger replied angrily.
“Wow. Would you look at that?” Madison said. I could tell she was surprised.
On the surface there’s nothing really wrong with these sentences. But from a creative writing standpoint, well… they aren’t that spectacular either. Mostly, because these sentences are telling the reader what’s going on instead of showing it. The reader doesn’t want to be told how the characters are feeling, they want to feel it for themselves. One of the best way to accomplish this is to give emotional cues.
What’s an emotional cue?
Let’s continue the journey across the great expanse of space to the Ethian Empire and the underground tavern where Markus Nador has turned the tables and is now questioning me after my attempt to interview my character in A Character Interview and a Journey to Another Galaxy…
I sit back down at the table and look across to Markus expectantly. Gone is the attempt to hide in the shadows as he leans forward with a smug grin that makes me think that perhaps he’d planned this turn of the tables all along.
“Tell me, why did you come here?”
I invite you to take a trip to listen in as I interview a character of my current work in progress (my science fiction novel Blood Feud). So strap on a seat belt and take a trip far into the deep reaches of space with me…
Deep in the heart of a galaxy more than 100,000 light years away, is a city-world that has become eaten up by a landscape of mountainous architecture. But underneath the Capitol mega-city lays a dark underworld of labyrinths and secret places. Where those in the Ethian Empire go to become forgotten, or the Fazha find a home to scratch out an existence. In this dark and dank place I go into the depths of the city of rejects, abandoned, and lawless to find the person I seek.
It’s not about how fast a person finishes a race, but that the race is finished, and sometimes, just sometimes, the ending results might be a surprise…
Over the summer I decided that I would do something I always wanted to do, but never had the courage to commit to. I wanted to run a 5K. It started as a this-is-what-I-want-to-do-and-hope-I find-the-time-to-do-it to a this-is-going-to-happen-no-matter-what. The change happened gradually.
At first I trained when I could, but then I had to put the money where my mouth was and actually set a date to run a race (thanks to the gentle but firm prompting from my friend and racing cheerleader Denise Wyatt). And so I did… August 8th.
How was your summer? Mine was pretty freaking awesome mostly because I did a whole lot of nothing. Just chilled with my son and got back to good. I won’t lie. It was dicey there for me for awhile in May and June. I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ll say life handed me a few hard and fast balls that left me feeling overwhelmed and just ready to call it quits on everything. So you know what I did? I did call it quits.
Yep. I sure did. I decided I just couldn’t do it anymore and for a few weeks I didn’t do writing, designing, or anything that might be considered constructive. And damn it felt good!
Okay, so I didn’t actually do nothing at all. I visited my family over the Fourth, I took my son to the lake a few times, hung out with friends, saw a couple of good movies, did some awesome book shopping, did some art sketching, and I even ran a freaking 5K (first time ever by the way). So not a completely lazy summer, but something a little different.
And then it hit me. Sometimes different is good. Sometimes not doing the same thing all the time is exactly what the doctor ordered. And because of my little bit of different, I feel ready to get back to the old. But to celebrate different, I decided to make a few changes.
Did you already notice one?
Yep, I redid my blog design a bit. I’ve been thinking about doing it for awhile and decided it was time. What you think? Like it?
Anyways, I am looking forward to starting up writing posts again, so start expecting some regular updates soon.
So it is with a heavy heart that I make this decision to take the summer off of blogging. It wasn’t an easy choice to make, but one I feel is the right one for now. I won’t go into details, but my life has had some minor and major turns in the last few months, and because of that I have had to refocus a great part of my energy into the web design area. I look forward to this new endeavor, but it leaves me little time for other things, especially now my son is on summer break. It basically comes down to spending time with him, or spending time writing blog posts. And even though I enjoy writing these posts, my son wins every time.
On the plus side, I hope the time away will rejuvenate me and allow me to come back with a score of ideas for new posts. I think a break would do me good in that area since I have been struggling the last few weeks for good ideas to write about.
I hope you all have a fabulous summer. Keep writing if you can, even if it’s a few minutes a day. I plan on doing some fiction writing at least a little here and there when I get the chance. I find that if I give writing up entirely it makes me a very unhappy person to be around.
So I’ll see you guys again sometime near the end of August after my son starts school once again. I know it’s a long time between now and then, but I’m hoping to see you all again. Until that time, have a wonder summer and happy writing to all!
I’ve been using Evernote for a few years now. It’s a free software that can be downloaded (there’s a premium addition that costs a little, but the free version works for my needs), and I have found it invaluable to help me keep track of notes on characters, world building items, notes for blogging, and even notes for my web design stuff. I can also paste images into a note or website address. Heck, I’ve even used Evernote to write and store snippets of scenes so I can keep them in a safe place until it’s time to put the snippets in the actual story.
Evernote is great because if I have a stray thought I want to make sure I keep, I open up the program (though usually it stays open in the backdrop) and just type the thought real quick and get back to work. I also have the Evernote app loaded on my phone, so if I am away from my computer I can jot that urgent piece of information down and I am good to go. And the best part about Evernote, is that it saves everything automatically. No need to hit the save button!
Granted, I’ve had the program installed on my computer for awhile, but it hasn’t been until the last few months that I’ve really put it to use and I wonder why I never used it as much before. Maybe I’m taking more notes and they are more on the fly than before? Maybe since I’ve gotten back into web designing my head is everywhere all at once and it’s hard for me to keep track of everything? Don’t know exactly, but without keeping notes, I’d be totally lost by now.
So if you are having a hard time keeping track of notes or are looking for a good note taking software, I highly suggest this program. I love it and am glad to have it as a tool in my writing tool box.