In the writing journey, one thing that resonates with me and I have tried to get better at is conveying emotion from the character to the reader.
Early on, I assumed that the emotion of the main character should be obvious. Their mother is just killed. Assassins are attacking them. Aren’t the emotions obvious? But one thing that I keep reminding myself is that the answer is ‘no’. Not all people think the same way. And even if they did, a reader is in a somewhat lazy mental state when they’re reading. They’re expecting the author to feed them the emotions of the character. It helps build the connection, the empathy, the basis for which the stakes are built. And stakes are critical for a reader to connect with a book. Without connection, the reader cares less. So emotion has to be communicated, one way or another.
Picture a psychiatrist on couch as you read your chapters, leaning forward after each major action, eyes narrowed curiously. He taps a pencil lightly against a lip.
“And how does that make you feel…?”
I have to admit, the recent weeks of my first manuscript, StoneDragon, has been discouraging.
I haven’t done any marketing, so not saying it’s entirely surprising, but despite a couple of five star reviews and no bad comments, the book is starting to fade out of view, with little take up unless I run a free promotion. And even those, from what I can tell, involve people stacking books in their kindle hundreds deep, for some future free read. I didn’t want to admit it, but that is part of the mental drain recently. Oh well. It is what it is. So now, I’m going to finish off my next re-write, and likely place it alongside StoneDragon (it is a different series, YA fantasy rather than adult) and then consider if I want to spend some time doing animation, picture book, or middle grade for a while.
I have to create; it’s in my my personality, but one thing I’ve noticed with other successful writers is that sometimes switching gears–and content–can hit a pocket of interest that doing the same thing may not. I’m starting to feel a bit healthier, and have a bit more mental energy, and this YA re-write will take at least a few months, but I thought I’d share some of my own ’emotion’. As much as I’d like to be a thick-skinned always-positive soldier of the pen (or keyboard), doing the same thing and expecting something different is also famously described as the keys to the madhouse. 🙂