Thursday, January 20, 2011

Writing Tip (5): Feeeeel It


Feeeeel It

I'm reading a book at the moment (I won't mention the title or author) that I'm kind of struggling to get through. It's got fantasy, mythology, action, it's well written... and yet I'm not desperate to pick it up at the end of each day. After pondering this for a little while I think I've realised why.

I'm not feeling anything!

I'm in the character's head, since it's written in the first person, but all I'm getting is an explanation of what's happening. And there's a lot happening! It's descriptive and there's plenty of dialogue, but what is she feeling?

I read a YA fantasy last year that I thought would be brilliant. It had such an awesome and original idea -- and yet it turned out to be, well, boring! I felt quite detached from the character and so it was just one event to the next event to the next event...

Bottom line: make sure you incorporate enough emotion to help your readers care about and relate to your characters.






10 comments:

The Golden Eagle said...

That's happened to me, too--books I thought I'd enjoy fell flat because of the characters. Great writing tip!

Summer Ross said...

Great tip, feeling along with the character is important.

Megan K. Bickel said...

So true! If I don't connect emotionally with characters, I stop reading. Plain and simple!

N. R. Williams said...

Truer words were never photographed so well...I had to change the cliche to include those great pictures. Emotion is such a powerful thing in fiction. I'm surprised this author was able to get away with its exclusion.

Thanks for your comment about my character on Golden Eagles blog.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Mary Mary said...

I couldn't agree more!

Joanna St. James said...

definitely, this is how I write my first draft - i jokingly compare my voice to the narrator on desperate housewives.

Elena Solodow said...

Just goes to show that it's always a fine balance. You never want to go overboard with emotion, but you do need to share enough with the reader so they can build that bridge with the character.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh man--I think I am exactly like you on the writing! I definitely want my emotions manipulated as I read! It's hard though, because you can't, as a writer, just dictate the emotions, you have to set it up so the reader actually FEELS them...

Carol Riggs said...

I KNOW what you mean! I started a book by a popular author, and I just could NOT get into it. It was either sci-fi or fantasy, both of which I usually like. That's pretty sobering in regards to my own writing....gulp! I hope I'm more interesting and emoting. Good goal.

Su said...

Excellent advice! It's impossible to get into a book (at least, for me) if I can't be emotionally invested along with the characters.