Writing Vivid Emotions: Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors (Writer's Craft) (Volume 22) Paperback – February 5, 2017
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Frequently bought together
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 5, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 82 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1542578027
- ISBN-13 : 978-1542578028
- Item Weight : 3.68 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.19 x 8.5 inches
Best Sellers Rank:
#1,065,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #5,363 in Fiction Writing Reference (Books)
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Trust me, it’ll happen. You just finished a marathon writing session. All you want to do is celebrate or sleep when your significant other accuses you of emotional insensitivity. Before you can defend yourself, s/he says, “How can you write so vividly about emotions and not know anything about mine?”
I learned from experience that the correct answer is not, “What do you mean? Every emotion in my novels I wrote after watching you.” (At least, not if you want to share the same bed for the next week).
From then on you don’t dare write about an emotion that remotely resembles your loved one’s. But if you visit the coffee shop and observe behavior there, s/he’ll ask, “Why are you checking her/him out? Aren’t I good enough for you?”
What do you do? Buy Rayne Hall’s Writing Vivid Emotions: Professional Techniques For Fiction Authors. Her book takes writers through an exhaustive, and yet easy to follow series of lessons for adding emotional depth and intensity to your fiction.
WHAT THE BOOK DELIVERS
A horror and adventure writer, Hall edits a number of quality indie anthologies and released the fantasy romance Storm Dancer.
Hall wrote Vivid Emotion in clear and straightforward prose, accessible to novice and experienced writers, even those, like me, who studied in graduate school. Her short chapters cover one or two key principles, examples and assignments to guide writers through each step of the process.
Topics include using body language to convey emotions (including avoiding novice traps), conveying a character’s feelings through dialogue, phrasing thoughts to deliver the most impact and working with simile and metaphor.
She doesn’t stop with depicting emotional clues; she demonstrates how writers can add emotional depth with layering and shading, and by depicting unconscious and suppressed emotions (including denial and deception). Vivid Emotions even serves up tips for novice and experienced writers to manipulate readers’ emotions and draw them into the story.
Two to three useful assignments accompany each chapter, which include real-life observation, scene prompts, deconstructing scenes you’re writing.
Hall ices your cake with a Thesaurus of Body Language Cues as well as Visceral Responses to stimulate your descriptive powers. Need to show readers how the ignorant will react to your wise-cracking hero? Look for body language cues. How will your hero react to the news the ignorant cop wants to arrest him? Hall suggests a number of visceral reactions.
I’ve never begrudged Hall the price of her eBooks ($3-$4, although she occasionally offers special discounts). It’s a modest price to include easily accessible topics for me to review when I’m unhappy with a scene.
5 = Delicious dialogue, crisp prose, clever characters & compelling plot
4 = Great read, won’t want to stop (5 for many reviewers)
3 = Worth buying but…
2 = I will tell you what audience will like this, but other readers might want to look elsewhere
1 = If I review a book this bad I felt seriously compelled to warn you
Phillip T. Stephens is the author of "Cigerets, Guns & Beer," "Raising Hell" and the new release "Seeing Jesus."
Rayne Hall’s book, Writing Vivid Emotions: Professional Techniques for Writers, will help you do just that. The first 11 chapters cover techniques, from showing body language, to getting readers to feel your characters’ visceral reactions, to varying emotional intensity, and more. You’ll learn what to show and what not to show, how to play on the reader’s feelings even while the point of view (POV) character is experiencing something different, and even how to foreshadow through subtle emotional cues.
Chapter 12 will be a great help when you’re having trouble varying a character’s body language. Titled “Chapter 1: Thesaurus of Body Language Cues,” it contains an alphabetical list emotions, and many body language tells for each. Perhaps you wouldn’t have come up with crisp nodding as a way one shows satisfaction, or licking one’s lips as a tell for love, but these may be perfect for how one of your characters would react.
“Chapter 13: Thesaurus of Visceral Responses,” will increase your set of tools for showing readers how your POV character is feeling. You may have a confused character, but you’ve had his chest tighten several times already in your book. Check in Chapter 13, and you’ll find that confused people sometimes start to feel hot. Tada! A new clue about how he’s feeling.
The book ends with two of Rayne’s short stories. In this way, she demonstrates many of the techniques used in the book. For example, the first story, Druid Stones, shows a cheerful woman going to visit a druid circle. However, the details let the reader know that she shouldn’t be feeling excitement, but fear.
Keep in mind, this book is intended for intermediate to advanced writers, and beginners may find them too tricky. There are many books out there for new writers. If that’s you, I suggest looking into various Writer’s Digest books. Work on your craft from those awhile, then come back to Rayne’s Writer’s Craft series.