Once again, we have another fabulous guest post on the emotional impact within our writing! Author Lee Thompson is about to take you on a journey – get ready! And thank you Lee for your guest post for our Emotional Thesaurus workshop!
Within all entertainment, creating an emotional impact can be a daunting challenge. It does not matter if the medium is live, still pictures, motion pictures, music, or writing. Some mediums have more of an advantage than others. With movies, scenery and music can be added to the actor’s performances to enhance the emotional impact.
Writing is a challenge because it has only the written words and the imagination of the reader. It cannot include music, and is very limited in visual imagery. Yet it is not an impossible task.
I know as a reader I have laughed and I have cried while reading. I have experienced emotions that left me amazed with the author’s ability to use nothing more than words to affect me.
I strive to accomplish this same effect on those who read my works.
In order to meet this challenge, I push myself to feel what the characters feel. Their fears, their sorrows, their determination, and their angst to name a few. I seek first to understand what the character feels so that I can understand why the character will do whatever it is they will do. I try to understand why they will think and behave as they do.
Once I feel I understand the character, I build the scene around the character, and develop the circumstance that will lead to the emotion I am hopeful my readers will feel as they read.
After I have finished writing a scene, I pull back. I work on something else. I simply take a break. Then I read the scene. I open my eyes and my mind and I read as if I have not written the work. I let my emotions follow the words. If I am not satisfied with the feelings inside, I critique myself. I look closely at what I did feel, and how it was different from what I wanted to accomplish. I think it through and make changes to reach my goal.
I have a life filled with emotions that I can call upon. In relationships I have known my share of bad endings. I have been through divorce and I have been widowed. I have been truly loved without any expectation that I had to change. I have seen death three times. I have served in the military and known the fear of an enemy lurking nearby, hiding and ready to kill. This is merely a sample of the life I have known that gives me emotional tools that I can call upon to write. These are the tools I have available as I strive to lead a reader to feel the emotional impact of my words.
I am working now on a story of redemption. If I achieve my goal, then this story will bring tears to the eyes of the reader. Then I will be satisfied that I have done the best I can do.