Emotions and Writing


For this post I’m going to assume you all agree that one of the main purposes of fiction writing is to make the reader feel, if you don’t think this please tell me why, I’m keen to hear your answer. As a writer I certainly want you to connect with my characters and feel everything they feel. To make this happen I need to deal with emotions and that can be a tricky thing, especially if I haven’t personally felt those emotions or at the other end of the scale if I have felt those emotions intensely.

As a writer I look at everything around me as a potential source of creativity and I’m constantly observing. It’s a weird observing though, I miss some of the most obvious things yet zero in on the tiniest details. This goes for emotions as well as the physical aspects.

One of the ways I try to express an emotion I haven’t felt before is to examine it and how I think it feels. For me personally this is usually in some form of poetry. Disclaimer: I’m not a poet, I write what feels right to me so feel free to say it isn’t actually poetry but I don’t know what else to call it.

Below is something I wrote last week and it was in response to how I thought someone else might be feeling.

Goddess of the Dark

Goddess of the dark

Hear my plight

I wish to leave my mark

But I’m afraid of the night

The darkness and shadows

The maybes and unknowns

All ring alarm bells

And I feel all alone

My sistas call to me

Voices crystal clear and true

But my ears are deaf to them

My mind coloured blue

I want to explore

Be the adventurer of my dreams

But something is holding me here

I struggle to be free

My cords are tangled

Snarled and a mess

Goddess help me

I don’t feel blessed 

Now I don’t feel like this, although I have felt something similar in the past but not this intense. I showed it to two people close to me and both asked me if I was OK straight away, concerned for my well being. After reassuring them I was feeling great I counted this as a success and feel confident that I can convey this emotion in my novel.

The next piece of writing is how I was feeling at the time and oddly enough I’m way too close to it to actually judge its success. It is a true representation of emotion for me, but I am unsure if others can tell what I was trying to convey.

For Breath

Gasping I wake

The weight on my chest imaginary

But too real to fake

I struggle to sit

Go about my day

But my lungs hold a protest                                                                                                                                        

So back to bed I go

Heat pack for comfort

Heart low          

I fight to hide it

But one look and she knows

Worry a pit at her feet

I’m miserable

My body not responding how I want

But it’s my life

At least I have one

I gasp for breath

It’s easier and I smile

This time my body is strong

This time I don’t need to fight

For breath.

So that’s how I examine emotions that I want to show in my stories. I focus on them and how I think they make people feel. Everyone is different so it can be a tricky thing to get across but it is my job as  a writer to make the reader understand what my character is feeling. To do that I need to understand who and what my character is but also how a reader identifies with certain emotions. Smiles for joy, tears for sadness etc. are obvious ones. These pieces of writing allow me to dig a little deeper and hopefully make the emotional connection between the character and the reader a strong one.

How do you deal with emotions in your writing? Please let me know in the comments, I’m interested to hear of other ways of writing about them.

Happy creating everyone!


6 thoughts on “Emotions and Writing

  1. Your poems are a great idea! Writing from another person’s POV, for example, writing a poem from your character’s viewpoint, is such a great way to get inside their head. I struggle with writing emotion, particularly crying scenes! It’s hard to be original and I feel like what I’m writing has already been written in another book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alyssa 🙂 Yeah, it’s really hard to be original and I use to think that as well (still do sometimes). I think most writers think they are writing what has already been written at one point or another. Can’t really say why I don’t think it so much anymore and from what I’ve seen from your blog you have nothing to worry about 🙂 I don’t think I’ve done a crying scene, I’m going to have to look into that now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think these are lovely poems – and convey emotion beautifully. I’m glad you weren’t actually feeling the first one, it sounds pretty intense!
    I hadn’t thought of using this method for thinking through emotions before, so thanks for your insight.

    Liked by 1 person

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