By: Donald Maass
The surest way to stir emotion in readers can be summed up in one word: change.
Change is a universal experience. We’ve all gone through it. We cannot avoid it. The passages of
life guarantee it. Change is necessary,
difficult, wrenching and individual. When a character in a story changes
we each recall the emotional earthquakes of our own lives. We feel for
characters, or so we say. We’re really feeling for ourselves.
Changes can be small or big. In my post Stirring Higher Emotions, I described a method for turning a character toward virtue, the shift with the greatest reader impact. Change can also be momentary, though, as when in a scene a point-of-view character gains insight, makes an intuitive leap, asks the right question, reverses course or steps out of the box of our expectations and acts differently or looks at things in a new way.
Every change, big or small, knocks us readers off balance which in terms of emotional craft is good. Shake us out of our fog and our hearts open. We’re free to
feel. What does change mean, then? How does it
happen? How can it be built in a manuscript for maximum effect?
. . .
Read the full article HERE!
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