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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Author Insight: Expressing Emotion

What is the hardest emotion for you to convey on the page and why? 

 
"Sexual chemistry. It is mysterious, different for each couple, and impossible to ‘fake.’" - Amy Kathleen Ryan, author of Glow.


"I'm really bad at showing how my main character feels, especially when it comes to love. I can't tell you how many times my editor wrote in the margins: 'And how does Nikki feel about this?' ... 'Now how does she feel?' ... 'How about now? How does she feel?'  I think this is because when I was a teenager, if I liked a boy, I would avoid him like he had contagious boils on his skin, and then I'd be all, 'How could you not see I was in love with you??!! It should've been obvious.'" - Brodi Ashton, author of Everneath.


"Depression – though I’m actually very good at writing it – just doesn’t convey well. Because it’s boring. Depression simply is. So trying to get across the distance, the disinterest and the dissatisfaction of a pervasive depression automatically turns readers off – they feel distanced, disinterested and dissatisfied with how the book is going. It’s troublesome." - Anna Sheehan, author of A Long, Long Sleep.



"I think fear and anxiety are tough. Mostly because there are so many horribly cliched ways to describe them. The shaking hands, the beating heart, the nervous stomach. Finding a new angle on it and making it feel visceral can be tough." - Jeff Hirsch, author of The Eleventh Plague.

"Fear and shock, possibly. Since my plots have lots of twists and turns, the characters experience many surprises and I work to make sure I show their reactions in ways that aren’t clichéd or repetitive." -Teresa Flavin, author of The Blackhope Enigma

 "I can write funny lines, but if I try to write funny, I totally fail. I also have a lot of trouble with tradtional love story emotions." -Susan Beth Pfeffer, author of Blood Wounds.

 
"Happiness. How do you do it without coming across cliché or silly or sickeningly sweet? That’s always a challenge for me." - Jennifer Castle, author of The Beginning of After.

 
"Love is really hard because it's all about the little moments that add up to big emotion." - Melissa Walker, author of Small Town Sinners.

 "I'm going to say that they're all hard. What's hard is coming up with new ways to impart the emotions. A girl can only 'feel the heat rising up her neck,' or 'scuff her foot in the dirt,' or have 'her stomach clenched' so many times. It's a challenge to come up with new ways to convey emotions that happen often." - Julia Karr, author of XVI.


"I have a hard time writing a love scene. It always sounds so corny when I’m the one writing it. I love reading them though!" - Kiki Hamilton, author of The Faerie Ring. 


"Uh...probably hatred or something really negative. Is villainry an emotion? I suck at aggression in real life and I have trouble with it in books sometimes too." - Jaclyn Dolamore, author of Between the Sea and Sky.



Stop by Thursday to find out what emotions the rest of the authors find hard to convey in writing!
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