I hope you enjoyed yesterday's workshop. I'm going to get right into today's class! But just to remind you, you can still post today (or in yesterday's post) for a chance to enter the first page critique from
Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency.
The point of the workshop is for you to take a piece of your writing - up to 250 words - and after the workshop, take what you have learned and and apply to it your writing. On Friday, post your revised version and the the biggest SHOW OFF wins!!
For today, here's what we've got:
We are talking about emotions:)
When writing, it's so easy to describe your character's emotions with words that YOU as the author may be feeling. Or you may want to express feelings and write in a way that YOU want the reader to grasp or feel. But showing feelings is just like showing details. Let me explain. Your character may have been traumatized, and you write, using words that express the feelings you want to portray. You may use words, like hurt, angry, withdrawn, paranoid, terrified, ashamed, and so on. Now, all those emotions may apply to your character, but one of the easiest ways to draw your readwr into your MC's world is to let THEM decide what to feel. Let's do some exercises like yesterday to show you what I mean.
I'll never forget how I felt when my mom died. I was devastated.
In those sentences, all I did was tell you what my MC felt after she experienced a death in her family. By writing it this way, I didn't give my reader any opportunity to feel anything. So, I'll add some details and try again.
Even if I live a thousand lives, I'll never forget how completely alone I felt after my mother died. Days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months and still, it seemed every time I turned around, something reminded me of her. I don't think I'll ever be able to move on.
With these details, all I've done was add to the telling. I haven't given the reader a reason to love the MC or her mother, nor I have given the reader a way to suffer with the MC.
Whenever work distracted me during my visits with mom, her soft hand patted my arm and she smiled at me. She always forgave me. As her sight faded, the smell of fresh flowers on the table helped mom relax, even though she couldn't go outside anymore. At the sound of my voice, she clapped her hands and weakly patted the edge of her edge of her, inviting me to sit a spell. This morning, I filled her coffee cup to the brim, the way she liked it- before I remembered.
In this version, because I didn't come right out and tell you my MC loved her mother and still can't believe she's gone, I gave my reader the chance to make that connection on their own. This means, the reader must engage with my details and as a result, the reader has an opportunity to be emotionally connected and engaged with my MC.
So, what about you? Do you have something you need to work on and SHOW OFF?