Writer-Reader Emotion Connection


Vision 71


Writer-Reader Emotion Connection


J. A. Marlow


Copyright © 2013, J. A. Marlow, All Rights Reserved




Today I just heard a rather foolish comment about writing. I won't quote it fully, but in essence the person said writing is good self-help and therapy, but don't inflict the world with your emotions.


I don't think the person who said it really thought things through. Why do I say that?


Because everything around a writer is story fodder. I mean absolutely everything. Stick us in a padded white room wearing a straitjacket, and I assure you, we will turn it into a story. The plot bunnies will still come a-nipping!


This is a trait we share with comedians. Ever been around one? They can find humor and laughter in everything around them, even the darkest moment.


In a world where we have so little control as individuals, we do have control in our stories (to a certain point. Characters do like to take over from time-to-time.). In our stories, we are Gods and Goddesses. In our stories we not only take control, but we also bring them to a satisfying conclusion, something we are often deprived of in 'real life.'


A note on 'satisfying.' This does not necessarily mean 'happy.' Sometimes the ending will not end happily-ever-after for the characters or the situation. But, the writer should still end the story in a satisfying way to fit the particular story.


We are writers. Our emotions are involved in what we write. We're not robots. Neither are our readers.


We are humans, and we have emotions.


Emotions surround everything in our lives. Our past experiences, our relationships, our hopes for the future, trauma, heartache, and happiness. All of it. Emotion is everywhere around us and inside us.


What we feel infuses our writing. How can it not? Everything I mentioned in the previous paragraph is going to find its way out in the stories we tell. We can't help it. Emotion is a valuable and essential tool in our writer's toolkits.


In the course of doing so, we may be using our stories to excise internal demons. Using the stories and control we have in writing to help deal with events and emotions in a form of self-help or therapy. Does this make the stories we use for this any less valid?


Not at all. It makes the stories more real. Because we are putting into them an essential part of life that we all share.


What we write strikes emotional chords in our readers, as well. Readers love this. It makes the story and characters feel alive for them. It transports them to a different place, life, setting, time-period, world, perhaps even a different universe. It can be a type of 'therapy' or 'self-help' for them, as well, by giving them a sense of satisfaction, catharsis, and perhaps even closure in their own lives and situation.


Or, it can simply help a reader because they no longer feel alone. Yes, the character in the story is fictional, but they are enduring something similar to the reader. Not feeling alone is sometimes the best therapy one can have. It creates a story that reader will remember and think about for days to come.


Yes, I've used writing to work out situations myself (therapy). Used it to help deal with emotions (self-help). When I was in the process of losing my job as the corporation went bankrupt, I wrote the story that is still my best selling short story on Apple. About woman laid off and then gets revenge on the corporation without a heart as one of the no-face people who made it a success.


The readers who keep buying the story aren't sorry I 'inflicted the world' with those emotions, that self-help, that therapy. They loved it, because not only is it a fun story, but it also connects with a deep-rooted situation many today are going through. Only, in my story, the Heroine wins.


Winning. In this world.


Oh yes, readers respond to that, too.


So, writers, by all means write those stories inspired by your life, your emotions, your heartache, and angst. Work out your emotions in therapy. Use the stories to deal with overwhelming emotions in self-help. Harness all of it and use it to tell a good story.


Be true to those emotions. Write a good story, polish it, and then get it out there in your preferred manner.


Your readers will thank you for it.