Writing scenes that make you emotional

Research department working on emotions - at the University of Nevada. Click image for more info.

I think that every writer will eventually go through this. These are the moments that you are so physically and emotionally connected to your manuscript that you can become ‘teary-eyed’ emotional over the scene that you are writing. There are also moments that have you in fits of giggles.

In terms of the crying thing, I can’t say that I have experienced this much yet, but I have been there a few times. I remember the first time this happened to me really clearly. It was a revolting weekend, weather-wise, and I was sitting in my old library. Classical music thumped around me, as I sat there on Saturday morning at my computer tapping my little heart out. The scene that I was writing was the death of one of my characters. Now this character, Lucy, doesn’t play a big part in the book, but she is an incredibly significant person to the main characters – their mother figure.

And it was when my main characters were trying to deal with the loss of Lucy, that I lost it. Tears flooded all over the keyboard, but yet I kept writing. I’m not kidding when I say that I was sobbing with grief. My husband finally heard the commotion, stepped into the library, to find my heart breaking all over the keyboard. He kept trying to remove me from the computer, but I kept pushing him away – knowing that I had to finish the scene. He did eventually get me away from the computer, threw me into the car, and dragged my sorry backside out for breakfast. Yes, I was still crying in the car. Capturing these emotions that I was experiencing was crucial to the scene. I felt that if I was this emotionally connected to the scene, then just maybe my readers would feel something similar, (even if it is to a lesser degree.)

Excellent blog on Human Emotion. Click image for more info.

The same goes for laughter. If you are reading or writing a scene, and bursting into fits of giggles at the same time, perhaps your readers will find it amusing as well. I know, to a non-writer – this post would seem like an insane writer rambling away about emotions, but trust me – we writers are like this from time to time.

There are times when our characters do something (yes, they do take over) that seriously makes you laugh. When I read my own work and I come across something funny – these are the moments when I shake my head in wonderment and say aloud to myself: “F*!k, I’m clever.” (*Clears throat*… Excuse the ‘French’ – but it’s generally what I say! J)

Emotions are powerful existences of nature when it comes to literature. As a reader, I know that if I laugh at books, or cry with books, I feel very connected to the book, no matter who has written it.

So there you have it. Go forth; write literature that readers are going to emotionally connect to. It’s a winner.


Leave a Comment

  1. Bravo, Leigh! I strive to do that in my writing. I have laughed out loud and actually said to my hubby, “Hey, you gotta hear what Cassiel just said!” lol Yes, when we are emotionally invested in our writing, our readers will become so, too. And then, we know we have had this extraordinary shared experience. Very special. Thanks, Leigh. 🙂


  2. So true my friend! Emotion in the writer = Emotion in the character = Emotion in the reader….The power of 3. 🙂


  3. I’ve totally had these connections before, and I love them. I also think that they help the reader connect. Thanks for your insight, Leigh!


    1. If our readers become emotionally invested in our writing, well then, I hope that they become emotionally connected to us as writers. And if this happens, well then I hope that they will continue to read and buy our work. 🙂


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