Write With Feeling!

Book and candle

Fact: Writers are feeling people. We’re the HSPs of society, the Highly Sensitive People. We feel emotions strongly and must express them. But sadly, for some writers, something gets lost between the brain and the keyboard. All those great thoughts get diluted so that the resulting words become empty and devoid of feeling. And that usually translates to boring.

I don’t get a huge kick out of reading horror, but when I recently edited a client’s book, I was completely unmoved by his bland wording, (“blood gushed out” about every three lines) such that I forgot I was even reading horror. In short, I was not appalled. And I should’ve been.

If you want to gross people out with your writing, write directions to the nearest landfill. But if you want to horrify and frighten people to their innermost core, you need to do more than colorfully describe what a situation looks like. You need to drill into their soul with words loaded with feeling. Same with romance (well, minus the fright), or any other genre.

I defer to a film for a prime example. In 1954’s Alfred Hitchcock thriller Rear Window, the suspense is thick enough to cut with a knife. The finale is bone-chilling tense; the film is burned into my memory. But not a drop of blood is ever seen throughout the story.

Your writing should not be a laundry list of sentences strung together; it should grab readers by the gut and touch the deepest parts of their soul. The best way to improve this skill is to learn from the masters. As a writer, you have surely been greatly affected by some powerful stories. Reread them and note the subtle tools the author used to patch into your mind and heart.

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