Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Making Your Reader Feel

A tragic incident took place this morning in London. I'm talking about the helicopter crash in Vauxhall that shook the whole of London and took the lives of two people, leaving several injured, some critical. My heart went out to the families of the deceased and I was upset by the number of people hurt and realised that at that time of morning and because of the location, it could have been a lot worse.

Eye witnesses were interviewed, naturally. I haven't driven around that part of town for a while and I don't think I know of anyone who got hurt, personally, and yet I could picture the event and could understand how those eye witnesses felt.

It was all in the language they used. Simple, gut reactions from the heart. It was human and that's all it took for me to know what they were going through and how the rest of their day was likely to pan out.

The incident made me think about my writing and how effectively I relate situations in which I want to evoke emotions or reactions from my reader. Some writers might use metaphors, draw an elaborate scene with intrigue and build up. But if the moment I'm describing falls flat then none of the above was worth anything. The eyewitnesses were direct and to the point. They said what they saw, what they heard, what they were doing at the time and where they found themselves moments after the incident happened. No waffle, no flowery stuff.

The novel I'm currently writing needs to have that same shock factor in places and I worried about how I could deliver it best. Now I know. Keep it simple and I'm sure your reader will feel what you want them to feel.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Fran,visiting from Goodreads,
    I so agree, often, it's finding that exact right verb or gesture that shows a characters feelings better than any telling.

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