Expressing character emotions is one of the most important and challenging aspects of writing fiction. If the reader does not experience what the character is feeling, the scene has failed. Physical reactions (pounding hearts, single tears) tend to be over-used. Interior monologue may sound like an info dump or excessive hand wringing.
While I hardly feel qualified to discuss this topic, a friend convinced me to give a short presentation on character emotions at an upcoming local SCBWI event called the Mid-Mitten Meet Up. (Times and locations of meet ups can be found at the SCBWI-MI website and on the SCBWI-MI Facebook page.) As I worked on my presentation, I decided to expand it into a blog series. Then I was recruited to do a guest post on the Mitten blog for SCBWI-MI.
My character emotion blog series will include posts on:
- describing what the character experiences
- characters' thoughts
- body language and gestures
- unique characters
The posts will be primarily my opinion, but I’m getting help from:
- Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood (Story Press, 1998).
- The Emotion Thesaurus: a writer’s guide to character expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi (2012)
- The Emotion Thesaurus is derived from Angela’s and Becca’s former blog: The Bookshelf Muse now posted on Writers Helping Writers
- Writing Irresistible KidLit by Mary Kole (Writer’s Digest Books, 2012)
- Mary Kole’s website and blog: KidLit.com
- Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass
The next post will be up on Wednesday, 1/14/15.