Character & Emotion

character, emotion, feelings, passion, Writing Advice
One thing that bothers me is when I am reading a book in which the characters have little depth.

Certain authors are very good at capturing the true emotions that a character is feeling, whether it is positive, negative, or neutral.

I guess it is more important for some to focus more on the story than on the characters. And maybe the story is more important than the characters.

But I don’t like to feel indifferent when the bad guy knocks off one of the main characters. I have read many books recently in which I feel I know absolutely nothing about the characters aside from their job and that they might have a crush on this person or that, and a little that I have learned from a bit of dialogue (that they’re a sissy, maybe).

I am not saying I am perfect by any means. I know I am nowhere near. But I think (at least I sure hope) I try to really get my readers to know my characters well. Why? Because I love them. I want the world to know what I think of them, who they are. Whether it’s the angry, vengeful ex-fiance, or the horse-racing best friend, I have devoted so much to those characters that why would I not want to showcase who they really are?

I want to feel for a character. I recently read Under the Dome by Stephen King. The plot may be what it was (good in my opinion, but others might think differently), but I found that he was able to make me feel so passionately about the characters–whether it be the utmost disdain or the opposite–that I didn’t want the 1000 or so page book to end!

What I love to write about: negative emotion. I don’t know why. I love to write in the perspective of the crazy guy, the drug addict, the alcoholic. I think it’s because I’ve read so many books where the characters have NO depth, or they’re just living a great happy old life until the ‘scary’ happens. Or if they have gone through an ordeal, it was in the past and the character has gotten over it. The first book that I have read in a LONG time in which the character is relatively emotional in a negative sense is Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz, in which the main character is in a state of depression a year after the death of his wife and two daughters. 

Not to give anything away, but this next book, a sequel, is going to deal with the negative repercussions of prior events on the main characters (and of course, there will be some thriller/suspense in it). I just don’t see this done very often (or maybe I am reading the wrong genre). I want to write about the raw emotion that the average person struggles with day in and day out. Life is not all butterflies and unicorns, and I have read too many books lately that do not emote feelings to the contrary.
Will I succeed at this task? Who knows. But I am going to have fun trying.

2 thoughts on “Character & Emotion

  1. This is very true. I also have read Under the Dome and one thing I loved about it was the emotion. Stephen King made me feel what the characters were feeling.

    I think you'll succeed in the task. I've read your work, and you do a perfect job with emotions and characters as it is. 🙂

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