Thursday, July 3, 2008

Writing for Emotional Impact


I’ve found another reference book I know I’m going to love! Tina Russo raved about it, so I ordered it. I just picked it up today, so I’ve barely started it. But everything I’ve read so far is excellent.

Writing for Emotional Impact—Advanced dramatic techniques to attract, engage, and fascinate the reader from beginning to end. By Karl Iglesias.

In the book, he talks about screenplays, but it applies for our novels as well. He says that many he’s read are “technically flawless—no spelling or format errors, well-structured, with all the prescribed act breaks on the “correct” pages.” But he says the problem is that “they all felt the same, as if they’d been written by a connect-the-dots computer programmed with the same old formulaic algorithm.” I could so relate to what he’s saying. Have you ever judged a contest and felt the same thing? I have. And I know my manuscripts have the same problems. (It’s just harder to see in our own manuscripts!)

Mr. Iglesias goes on with a section in the introduction titled Craft Means Evoking Emotion. He says that “generally, craft is knowing how to make things happen on the page.” And here’s what he said that really spoke to me: “Specifically, it’s the technical ability to control language to create an intentional emotion or image in the reader’s mind, hold his attention, and reward him with a moving experience.”

I’ve looked at the table of contents and am so excited about what’s ahead! I plan to dive right in as soon as I finish my revisions and get my book sent off. If you’re interested in checking out another great how-to book, give Writing for Emotional Impact a look. I think it’ll teach us a lot.

Missy

5 comments:

  1. I think getting the emotions out there is what puts the "spark" on the pages. This is the way to engage the reader. Thank you for sharing this. I know I NEED to pick this up and read this.
    It sounds awesome!

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  2. Like Michael Hauge said at RWA last year, our goal as writers is to elicit emotion from our readers. Sounds like a great book, Missy. I'll have to check it out.

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  3. Thanks for sharing. I need to get that book. Emotion is what makes me want to keep reading. It's the emotional scenes in movies that I like best.

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  4. One interesting thing he said that was enlightening was that whether your character cries is not as important as whether your reader cries.

    I really liked that, because I'm always so worried about showing my character emotions--which can get tiresome for the reader to read about.

    Missy

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  5. Okay kiddo, that wasn't me that raved about it. You are confusing your brilliant and beautiful friends. Easy to do. I think it was Camy Tang. But now I am going to order this book.

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