Emotion

Musicality and Reader Emotions

Guest Post by Peter Langella When I first began writing seriously, I was just telling stories. I wasn’t thinking about plot or structure or the concrete and abstract desires of my characters. Sure, a lot of that found its way into my drafts, but it wasn’t my focus when I brainstormed or sat at the…

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Creating Emotion Within Dialogue

By Jeff Schill I love dialogue. To me, a story is all about the characters.  And I especially enjoy when these characters interact with one other.  But at the same time, dialogue can fall flat when it does not resonate or make the reader feel something. Dialogue is much more than just the words on…

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Engaging the Heart: Poetic Tools for Writing Emotion (Part 2)

by Jen Bailey In Part 1, we looked at how onomatopoeia and phonetic intensives can help you evoke emotion in your readers when writing emotionally detached characters. Today we will look at two additional sound-related poetic tools that can be carefully crafted to obtain your desired effect and keep your reader engaged. Poetic Tool #3:…

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When Emotion Is Free

Emotion is what we strive for in writing. Get your reader to feel something! This isn’t a new idea. There’s been plenty of blog posts and craft books on the topic. It’s why Twilight is so successful, because the audience falls in love with Edward. Not stellar writing, sure, but it definitely got thousands of…

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Image Systems, Liaisons and Motifs

How do we express the ineffable? How do we make our readers feel the emotions and tension of our scenes? In particular, how is this done if we are writing a “quiet book” where the growing stakes of a novel are internal? Liaisons and motifs are a great way to incorporate specific imagery that adds…

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Nuts and Bolts and Chocolate

Picture book author Tony Johnston has over 125 books for children in her repertoire! She was kind enough to speak at the 2011 Southern California SCBWI Writer’s Day and share her immense knowledge and insight. This was one of the most heartfelt talks I’ve ever been too. Johnston is passionate and moved by her responsibility…

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Five Ways to Show Emotion in Your Writing

I’m currently reading a fantastic craft book called From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction by Robert Olen Butler. The book is a collection of lectures by the famed author/teacher. Among the many great insights in this book, one little tid-bit that I found particularly interesting was Butler’s thoughts on how to express…

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The Shape of Our Stories

“I see stories as a three-point projectory with you as the wild card.” Author Marion Dane Bauer began her keynote speech at the 2010 SCBWI LA conference with this statement. Her powerful speech was given with such honesty and power I was nearly brought to tears. The following notes were taken during her session: The…

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Loren Long: Illustrating The Picture Book

Why do you want to write and illustrate picture books? Illustrator Loren Long, began his keynote speech at the 2010 LA SCBWI Conference with this question. The following notes are an overview of what he had to say about his process, creating emotion in art, and the importance of leaving something behind for the next…

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