My readers tell me that they cry while reading my stories. Some say that they’re gonna go find a box of tissue now. Some say, “My brother thinks I’m crazy because I’m crying at my monitor.” I’ve had many readers that tell me how I made them cry. So, what am I doing right to evoke such strong emotions?
Let’s take a look at a few tips that I’ve mentioned below. I think that this might be just what you were looking for.
- Connection: If your character is not relatable, readers won’t empathize. Establish a connection between the readers and the character before making something happen that will emotionally disturb him. Let there be flaws in the character, let there be reality. Make him as realistic as possible, because if they’re Mary Sue, you really need to work on that before working on creating emotions.
- It’s Not That Bad: You can’t only throw bad things at the character. It’s just not real. The little happiness you get even in the saddest of situations. Also, happiness before sadness can make the sadness more prominent.
Example: When a 16 year-old girl witnesses the death of her father, and her mother gives a small smile of reassurance through tears. That’s what.
TIP: Add a sparkle of hope just to destroy it and make the readers frustrated.
- Show, Don’t Tell: Don’t tell the reader that the character is sad. All they’ll say is, “Okay, she’s sad.” Emotional? I don’t think so. Show that she’s sad through facial expressions, bodily changes. Put the character in a situation where she is broken or something, and then the reader feels the character’s sadness and says, “Oh my god, she’s sad.”
For Example: Don’t Call Me Ishmael by Micheal Bauer “Ishmael? What kind of a wussy-crap name is that?”
What could I say? Up to this point of my life I hadn’t even known it was a wussy-crap name. No one had warned me that I had a wussy-crap name. Why would my parents give me a wussy-crap name in the first place? Was Herman Melville aware it was a wussy-crap name? All I could do was smile stupidly while Barry Bagsley and his friends laughed and pushed past me, like I was a revolving door.
I stood there like a wuss.
I felt like crap. What did he do here? Showed how he felt and told you in the end. What a great combination! At the start we felt how bad he felt about them laughing at him like that. That’s what you want. You want the readers to feel bad for the character.
- Details Matter: Details matter the most. Little detail, little memories. It’s not just the spur of the moment. What happens when you come home the next day? What happens when you see someone else having something you don’t have anymore? That. Just that!
- Dialogue: Yes. One of the most important. That scream. Those words of regret. Those reminder of him through words. Showing emotions through dialogue, and not just sad. It can be happiness, fear, anything really.
For Example: Becoming Naomi León byPam Mu – oz Ryan
A mean, stomp-my-foot feeling rose from a place I didn’t know existed in my mind. I wished I could throw my anger at Skyla and yell, but my voice came out a shaky whimper. “Gram takes care of us. She does…everything for us. Not like you.
You left us. You didn’t…want…us and then you didn’t even let our father see us.
Now we’re supposed to do what you s-s-say? I…I…I’m…n-n-not…going.”
- Experience: If you, yourself don’t know about the emotion and what it feels like, how can you make your readers feel that way? And that by your words? You’ve never been in love, and you’re writing about how a girl feels when her crush confesses his love for her… Exact emotions. Exact words. Exact details. Exact “showing”. So, how are you gonna do it? Experience—the key word. Try to experience what your characters are experiencing…or maybe go talk to someone who did. Really! Talking helps.
TIP: You can watch some movies too. Or maybe Google something like, “How does it feel when your crush confesses his love for you?”
- Not All Readers Will Cry: It’s kind of a wiring thing. If your readers can connect to the scene in your book with their life, they’ll cry. But evoking feelings…yes, that’s what you can do through the things stated above. Crying is a whole different subject, even laughing is. Receiving that full reaction from you reader depends on the readers themselves, not you. You just work on the tips stated above and relax. If they’ve been through it or are sensitive enough, they will not only feel emotional, but might cry as well.
And honestly, the goal is not to produce tears, but feelings, which will come naturally as you tell your story.
Remember one thing—your style is something that makes you…well, you. So, don’t change the way you write. That’s the unique thing that can distinguish you from other writers.
That’s about it for today! Hope you all liked the post. It’s 3 AM and my eyes burn now. Anyway, I’m very tired, and I’ll just go to sleep.
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