Home > Writing > Archives > The Power of Emotion by Connie Vines
e·mo·tion
əˈmōSH(ə)n/
noun
1.    a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.
“she was attempting to control her emotions”
synonyms:
·         instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge.
“responses have to be based on historical insight, not simply on emotion”
synonyms:
instinctintuition, gut feeling
Raw.  Naked.  Emotions.  As an author of romance/ romantic suspense novels, emotion is essential to my story line.  However, as a human being experiencing strong emotions can be overwhelming.  Moreover, often, in the case of fear and sorrow, very unwelcome.
The concept of (raw flesh) exposed from an extensive wound, exquisitely sensitive to the lightest touch, reminds me of my vulnerability and mortality.  
Naked emotion.
How do you deal with emotions in your story lines?
Do you color your story in pastels?  Bold charcoal strokes?  Or, perhaps bright slaps of color? 
Or do you favor dark, deep Gothic hues?
In my opinion, all successful/popular novels, no matter what genre, have one key element: emotion.  Emotion lies at the core of every character’s decision, action, reaction, and motivation.  All of which drive the story. A character’s personal journey does not exist without emotion—it would be pointless. The plot would be made up meaningless events that a reader would not invest any time to read.  Why?  Because above all else, the readers choose a novel to have an emotional experience.  Be it a wild roller coaster ride of pure terror in a horror novel; reliving the sweet courting experience of an inspirational romance; discovering a new unexplored, heart-pounding world of a sci-fi; the pleasure of solving a who-done-it; or, pure laughter and fun in a read-it-at one setting comedy—readers want to connect with your characters.  With this connection to characters, who provide entertainment and whose trials and experiences may, in turn, add meaning to their own life journeys.
We are emotional beings.  Feelings propel us. Drive us.  Define us. Moreover, while it may seem that most of those exchanges happen during conversation, studies show that 93% of all communication is nonverbal.  Even in instances where we try not to show our feelings, we are still telegraphing messages through body language.  Because of the, each of us is adept at reading others without a word being uttered.
                Readers have high expectations.  Long done are the long intros: “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.  We had been wander, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so somber, and a rain so penetrating”.  . . I am certain you recognize the first sentences of my favorite classic novel, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  A delightful read, rich in detail and thick with emotion—but not a read easily consumed during a pause in a workday, or after getting toddlers off to bed.  Readers no longer wish to be told how a character feels; they want to experience the emotion for themselves.
                This leaves the writer with the challenge of ensuring that our characters express their emotions in ways that are both recognizable and compelling to read.  Personally, I find that less is more.  I am always aware of the pacing of my story.  Too many clues to describe a character’s feelings can dilute the reader’s emotion experience.  Backstory is only pepper in to allude to a ‘trigger’ emotion.  Example:  Marty, in the BACK TO THE FUTURE series of movies.  A cliché, but calling Marty ‘chicken’ worked every time—the viewer knew and expected ‘something’ to happen. Not that I have ever, I hope, have resorted to a cliché, but my characters have a ‘fatal flaw’.  I cannot divulge any that I have used because it would ruin the story lines.  Nevertheless, we all have our ‘trigger’ emotion.  If you have siblings, undoubtedly, you were tormented with it on numerous occasionally.  Our ‘characters’ may or may not recognize a personal trigger emotion.  This is writer’s preference in relationship to plot and character development.
                One emotion that I find fun to watch (in young children) and it easy to work into a YA story is amazement.  To a toddler everything is new and amazing.  The child’s eyes widen.  The child becomes suddenly still.  May suck in a quick breath/hand covering one’s mouth. Stiffening posture.  Rapid blinking followed by open staring.  Reaching out and touching or taking a step back. I am certain you could add to the list my recalling your personal experiences or observations.
                Now how would that young child feel, internally?  A heart would seem to freeze, the pound. Tingling skin. Adrenaline spikes. The mental reaction in the amazed person could be disorientation, momentarily forgetting all else, or wishing to share the experience with others.  Now say your character is a shy or too cool to give anything away.  How could this emotion be suppressed? Self-hugging, jerky, self-contained strides, Eyes widening a bit before control is asserted, mouth snapping shut.  The clues are always apparent. 
                I like to get to know my characters, savor my scenes, and always dig deeper for the right word. The right motivation.
                I enjoy the journey to discover my characters, their hopes and wishes.  I feel blessed to tell each one of their stories.  And I hope that my novels, in turn, bring hours of enjoyment into each of my readers’ lives.
                In closing, I would like to share a bit of my past.
                When my first YA sweet historical novel was published, I was honored at a Red Nations Powwow.  A tribal elder, Jacques Condor, told me I was being honored as a Storyteller.  He reminded me, always, to be humble, because it is the Story who chooses the Storyteller to bring it Life. 

                My Mandela hangs my living room wall, and my hand-tooled silver ring is worn to remind me of both my gift, and my duty.
                Thank you for taking the time to read my first post to OCC/RWA’s A Slice of Orange
Blog.  

Please stop by next month.  

              
                Connie Vines

Fall Release: BWL, Ltd.
Novella,
BWL, Ltd., current release

Author Details
Author Details
A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

#Me Too

Buy now!
#Me Too

A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

Buy now!
A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS
BECKONED, PART 1: FROM LONDON WITH LOVE

CITY OF BLAZE

Buy now!
CITY OF BLAZE

COME FLY WITH ME

Buy now!
COME FLY WITH ME

COWBOY KARMA

Buy now!
COWBOY KARMA

DANGER MUSIC

Buy now!
DANGER MUSIC
FATHOMS: A NOVEL OF THE PARANORMAL

FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

Buy now!
FREYA Viking Glory Book Two
FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales

GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

Buy now!
GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

GIRL IN THE MIST

Buy now!
GIRL IN THE MIST

HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

Buy now!
HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

HOSTILE WITNESS

Buy now!
HOSTILE WITNESS

ILONA’S WOLF

Buy now!
ILONA’S WOLF
INTIMATE RELATIONS

LEIF Viking Glory Book One

Buy now!
LEIF Viking Glory Book One

LET IT SNOW

Buy now!
LET IT SNOW

LOVE NOTES

Buy now!
LOVE NOTES

SAVAGED SURRENDER

Buy now!
SAVAGED SURRENDER
SNOW IN LOVE: Sweet Romance Holiday Collection

STOLEN KISSES FROM THE VISCOUNT

Buy now!
STOLEN KISSES FROM THE VISCOUNT

SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

Buy now!
SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE

THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR

Buy now!
THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR

THE FIX UP

Buy now!
THE FIX UP

THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

Buy now!
THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

THE LIFE OF RILEY

Buy now!
THE LIFE OF RILEY

THE ROGUE’S LAST SCANDAL

Buy now!
THE ROGUE’S LAST SCANDAL

THE WOULD BE MOMMY

Buy now!
THE WOULD BE MOMMY
THIEVES: Book One of the Obscurité de Floride Trilogy

WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

Buy now!
WELCOME TO LOON LAKE
WHO’S THE FAIREST? A Sisters Grimm Anthology
#PLEASE SAY YES (#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)

CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

Buy now!
CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN
CHRISTMAS ON NANTUCKET AND OTHER STORIES

CLEAR INTENT

Buy now!
CLEAR INTENT
COLTON 911: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE

DARK WINE AT DUSK

Buy now!
DARK WINE AT DUSK

DEAD BLOW

Buy now!
DEAD BLOW

FOR A GOOD PAWS

Buy now!
FOR A GOOD PAWS

FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

Buy now!
FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

Buy now!
HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

HER COWBOY KING

Buy now!
HER COWBOY KING

HIDDEN BETRAYAL

Buy now!
HIDDEN BETRAYAL

HIS HIGHLAND SURPRISE

Buy now!
HIS HIGHLAND SURPRISE

LEIF Viking Glory Book One

Buy now!
LEIF Viking Glory Book One
LOST WITNESS: A Josie Bates Thriller
OFF THE RAILS: A Collection of Weird, Wicked, & Wacky Stories

ONCE UPON AN ENCHANTED FOREST

Buy now!
ONCE UPON AN ENCHANTED FOREST

ONE TASTE TOO MANY

Buy now!
ONE TASTE TOO MANY

REWRITING THE PAST

Buy now!
REWRITING THE PAST
SERIOUSLY, MOM, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?

SHADOWS AT DAWN

Buy now!
SHADOWS AT DAWN
SHORT and SWEET’S FAMILY ALBUM

THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT

Buy now!
THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT

THE CONSPIRACY

Buy now!
THE CONSPIRACY

THE DECEPTION

Buy now!
THE DECEPTION

THE DEVIL’S CARESS

Buy now!
THE DEVIL’S CARESS

THEIR HIGHLAND BEGINNING

Buy now!
THEIR HIGHLAND BEGINNING

THE MASK OF MIDNIGHT

Buy now!
THE MASK OF MIDNIGHT

THE OBLIVIOUS BILLIONAIRE

Buy now!
THE OBLIVIOUS BILLIONAIRE
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIDGE, NEW YORK, 1930
THE WITCHES OF NEW MOON BEACH BOXED SET

THE WITCH OF BERGEN

Buy now!
THE WITCH OF BERGEN

THE WORTH OF A VISCOUNT

Buy now!
THE WORTH OF A VISCOUNT

TRACKING SHADOWS

Buy now!
TRACKING SHADOWS

TWO BITES TOO MANY

Buy now!
TWO BITES TOO MANY
WINTER WISHES: A REGENCY HOLIDAY ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY

    ×
    A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

    Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

    >