Saturday, February 27, 2010

How to Handle strong emotion - Writing tip

When you need to give a character a strong emotion, try to find a moment in your own past when you felt that emotion.

Once I needed to find shock and horror for a character in a story. To do that I remembered a day when I'd taken clothes in off the line, folding them into the basket as I went. When I started to put them away, a snake crawled out from between the towels and landed between me and the door. I am terrified of snakes. I took all the sick, palpitating, screaming horror I felt when I saw the snake and gave those emotions to the my character.

Her palms sweat, here hands shook, the room seemed to come and go. And I used what I had felt, to understand how she would feel when she walked into that horrifying situation.

Oh, by the way, I phoned my late sister-in-law and she came right over, found and removed the snake. I disposed of all her spiders in return -- we were a good team.

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