Wednesday, May 6, 2015

IWSG: The Emotional Impact




It's IWSG Wednesday. Time to post our writerly insecurities. 

I received a beta's remarks back on the Pearl novella. Thankfully, she liked it and while there needs to be some clean-up and a few additions and subtractions, the biggest thing for me was when she wrote in her email:

"I'm so impressed! I actually got a little teary-eyed at the end. It makes me want to go and hug my brother, even though I just saw him Wednesday."

So, yay! It's always been important to me that there's an emotional impact to a story. When my emotions are engaged while reading, that means I'm in. Sometimes that means I care about what's going to happen to the protagonist or I want to know if the couple end up together (I read a lot of historical romance; they always do, but the getting there is interesting) or I like the author's style or I'm interested in the little details sprinkled through that make that story and world come alive in my imagination.

But at the end--it's about the feeling I get from the characters and the stories. When I'm writing a story, I often worry that what I want to convey won't come through. A writing professor once described my writing as "so subtle it's not there."

Thanks, prof.

29 comments:

  1. It really is the best thing to hear, that your story touched someone emotionally. So often, us writers are reduced to tears writing, and we can only hope our readers will feel the same.
    Angeline

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    1. Exactly! Because we make ourselves feel it, but we never experience our own writing the way a reader does!

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  2. Thankfully, we've both improved since college! I worry about this a lot, too. I always make myself cry, but I really want the reader to feel it, too. ^_^

    Though I hope they don't laugh quite as much as I do. For some reason, I find my writing really hilarious sometimes. In other news, I gave my brother a bear hug the last time I saw him! ^_^

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    1. Yeah. I always feel like I don't describe enough or tell rather than show, so I wonder if the emotions are coming through.

      I find my writing pretty funny at times, too. Then again, I have a pretty dry sense of humor, so deadpan or sarcasm is funny to me.

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  3. That's always my final revision check when I write: the feeling check I read my work, not to look for grammar or spelling errors, but to see if I'm feeling the appropriate things. So important.

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    1. I think we're so close to it sometimes that we're not sure if it's really there or not. At least, that's the way it is for me.

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  4. Yay for awesome beta feedback. That's always a nice feeling. I also like to add emotional impact to my stories. I also like to feel that when I'm reading.

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    1. Yeah, I was really pleased with her feedback. When I don't feel something when I'm reading, I wonder why...and then I wonder why I was reading it.

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  5. Awesome feedback! Emotion is always key for me too.

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  6. congrats on finding a beta that can feel the way (or similar way) you do! :)

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    1. I've been lucky in my betas--they've given me what I needed to know, but they're both great writers, so they get it. :-)

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  7. "so subtle it's not there." That speaks volumes.
    The emotional connection is so important.
    Writer In Transit

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    1. The prof didn't mean that as a compliment. I had described a short story as something, but the class saw something else entirely.

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  8. What a lovely comment from your beta reader. You must have really touched her.

    Best wishes,
    Diane IWSG #108

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    1. I think so! Felt like mission accomplished.

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  9. Congratulations! To touch your reader emotionally is of the highest compliment in my opinion. Nice job!

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  10. That's a great comment to get. This was being discussed at a Twitter chat Tuesday night. We were all saying when we get teary eyed just writing that hopefully means so will the reader.

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    1. There were two points in this story that I got teary-eyed; we'll see if readers get teary-eyed at those points, too.

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  11. Congrats. I agree that's a big one.

    Here's my link if you'd like to drop by :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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  12. What a great comment to get from a beta reader. It sounds like you are on the right track.

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! It's nearly there.

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  13. What a great comment to get from a beta reader. It sounds like you are on the right track.

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  14. Feelings are super important for me!
    You get so involved and feel the pain/joy of the characters. Lovely, Michelle!

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    1. The books I remember reading--that I actually remember details of--are the ones I got emotionally involved with :-)

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  15. You got an emotional response - that's awesome!

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Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts. Check back soon. I reply to all comments. Happy reading!