Thursday, June 21, 2012

How Truth and Emotions relate.

Emotions are Vital.

As writers, putting our emotion into our writing, into our characters, even into each scene, is absolutely vital. Otherwise each of our pages come across as flat. Which means the reader could care less...and that's not good for our writing career.

As readers, we don't just WANT emotion...we NEED emotion. Without emotion, the reader will fall asleep when reading the words we labored over and toiled over. That doesn't bode well for a long-term, productive writing career.

Now, truth. Truth is vital as well. Yes, I know, fiction writers tell lies in the form of stories for our entertainment. Yes, this is true. What's also true is that the writer absolutely must stay true to each character's emotions. Yes, each character is an individual and being an individual, the writer must stay true to that character. If the writer deviates within that character, the whole lie or illusion, commonly known as suspension of disbelief, is blown. The walls crumble. The veil is ripped. So yes, the writer absolutely has to stay true to each character. Not saying a character can't change and grow, but it must be done within the parameters of that character's personality.

And all of that comes from the writer's own emotions. We do explore our emotions when we write. Yes, we explore the emotions of others as well, but the only time we really, truly, authentically reach down inside the reader and not only touch, but grab them by their emotions, is when we write a character that's true to their emotion as a result of us being true to our emotion.

Get that right and the reader will rave. Get that right, and you've got a fan for life.

Get that wrong...and you're done.

Toney La Tripp




  1. Great post! We feel it's one the most important things in our work, being true to our characters. It really does make or break a book. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. I agree with staying true to the characters. It is hard sometimes to show the emotions of characters who have to hold back their emotional side in order to get their job accomplished...i.e. Special Forces so sometimes you have to have those internal thoughts showing to contrast with their actual actions. At least that's how I've seen it done and have tried to do in our book.