Real Emotions

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    I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, but I have trouble expressing real emotions when writing, especially when someone is angry or super excited. So any tips would be great because I like writing scenes with the correct and right amount of emotion.

    Thanks! 🙂👍🏻
    Swishes cape


    I think one key thing is showing instead of telling. Which I’m sure you’ve heard a million times before and don’t want to hear again, but there it is 😛

    For instance, anger. Don’t just say, “Mike was furious.” Show us his display of anger. Maybe he throws his phone or punches a wall or crushes something or whatever – show us the character is angry.

    Or sadness. Don’t say, “Her heart was broken.” Show her curled up on her bed, sobbing into her pillow. Show her clinging to her favorite horse.

    Side note: Here’s a super great chart I found on Pinterest a few years ago that I think is super helpful:Patheticness of Crying Pic

    I think the other key thing is giving the character proper motivation for their emotion. For instance, if Mike is punching down the wall because he lost his favorite t-shirt, well, then that’s not a super accurate representation of emotion. But if he’s punching down the wall because he found out he’s being lied to by his hero, then that’s a little bit better representation of emotion.

    So, that’s all I got right now. Cheerio! Happy writing! And if you have any other questions, let me know 🙂



    Real emotions??? Well… I am a highly emotion human being. Let’s just put it that way. And when I’m writing, I put myself into a bubble where I pull the character’s emotion over my own head. Yes, it can be depressing at times. In some of my more recent writings, I have been surprised at how raw my descriptions were in certain parts. Basically, I take the surroundings of the situation, look at the situation itself, then FEEL what the character feels, then spin it all together and write it down. Let’s just say Wynn’s house burned down the summer her mom died (depressing, I know). Wynn goes back to look at the ashes (BTW, this in my mind is in the forest and is either historical fiction or fantasy).

    Ash, all ash. Ash that rose up in dusty clouds at her feet in clouds and was swept away on the wind. Wynn wondered if her heart could be dead and still ache. The stillness seemed to mock the roar and heat of the laughing flames as they licked up every memory she could still touch and feel. Will it never not hurt again? Wynn wondered. Even the thought of the pain leaving hurt her. It felt like betrayal to ever see something to smile at after the world around her had fallen into darkness.

    O.K., so not my most impressive example, but basically when I write something like this, I’m trying to paint the picture that doesn’t describe every word that goes through her mind. I mean really, do emotions always have words that fit them? Painting a picture of something that causes the reader to FEEL it helps. We know that when we hurt deeply, we hurt so much it aches, so make the reader know why she aches. We also know that when we hurt that deeply, we feel that the thought of being happy again makes us feel like we’re betraying something. Writing scenes that haunt and are raw help a lot if you can put the surrounding world into it. Because we know that when we are sitting there crying, it’s real to take notice of weird details.



    Tek an ohta! Tek an cala!


    @skye, thanks for the chart and info! Really helpful! 👍🏻😃

    , wow…that was sad. And I get what you’re saying. Thanks! 😅


    Anne of Lothlorien

    @millennium-m You can hear it a million and one times… Show, don’t tell. Really, really, really true. When you use actions to describe a character’s emotions, readers can feel connected on a deeper level than just reading ‘he was steaming mad’. Maybe they’ve also been through and done similar things and by reading something that jogs a similar memory of when they felt the same, they really feel the character’s emotions.

    This is a picture I’ve actually found very helpful for honing in on more specific emotions, not just sad or mad, but rejected or vindictive.

    I'm short, I like words, and I love people.
    No, I didn't draw my profile pic.

    Hope Ann

    @millennium-m what all the others said. 😉 Though one important element in showing instead of telling is not to tell too much. You want to leave space for readers to fill in the gaps with their own emotions. Don’t show every single sniffle and silent tear. Set the mood and the scene; give their thoughts, but leave room for the reader to ‘import’ their own emotions into the scene as well.

    Also remember the emotions of the character weave in with who they through the book as a whole, not just that scene. If a character is weeping over the death of a loved one, then you want to make sure the reader also feels their loss through what they know of the one who died. They need to care too. What made your character mad? Show the situation, so by the time the character explodes your readers are seething mad at the bully too and cheering them all the way.

    Victory in the march. Hope in the destination.

    Parker Hankins

    I followed this conversation and it’s been very helpful!!

    @millennium-m, thanks for asking this!

    Living in a world of mystery and dangerous predicaments while working with the AWESOME Meraki's.


    Merci, @hope-ann et @anne-of-lothlorien. C’est très utile. Et j’espère que cela m’aidera dans mes futures écrits!

    Or in other words: Thank you, @hope-ann and @anne-of-lothlorien. This is all very helpful. And it will hopefully help me in my future writing!  (Sorry, I’ve been learning French. 😉)

    , great!

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