Today’s topic: How do we make sure that our scenes are conveying the right kinds of emotions?
One of the most important things your scenes need to do is strike the right emotional chord, which involves setting the mood.
A scene about losing your family in the forest, for instance, should call up feelings of fear and frustration in your character, leading to distress – and possibly even anger (“How could they leave me behind?!”).
Each scene can either stand alone or build upon previous scenes to help create the overall mood of your novel.
For a coming-of-age story, like the one I’ll be writing, emotions can be mixed. There might be excitement about growing up, fear or apprehension about new developments or responsibilities, and maybe some resentment or frustration with how fast or slowly things are changing, or how parents and teachers fail to recognize you as a budding adult and treat you with the proper respect. Growing up may even inspire feelings of ambivalence in your characters, who could be responding “Who cares?” to everything anyone says to them.
Just remember to show us these emotions instead of simply telling us what they are. You can try Angela Ackerman’s excellent book, The Emotion Thesaurus, if you need help finding good ways to express different emotional states.
So, let’s get emotional!
Want to prep with me?
Share one of YOUR scene’s emotions in the comments, or post it on your blog, and be sure to use the hashtag #Preptober when sharing on social media so we can find each other.
Don’t forget to grab a free copy of my Preptober Prompts Printable, which you can print out for personal use.
See you tomorrow with a new prompt!