[Discussion] Do You Notice The Anger Emotion When Reading? #MondayBlogs #AmReading

I Have A Reading Niggle!

My thoughts on showing emotion in writing, particularly anger.

When I’m reading a novel for review, I have a mental list of points which make or break it for me. I think we all have them; some readers will abandon a book in which the dialogue is unrealistic, for others it might be over-use of adjectives and metaphors.

One element that I have a problem with is when a writer has over-played one emotion, especially when that emotion is anger.

Anger is dramatic. It can be violent, loud, or smouldering underneath. It’s also exhausting; I find the smouldering sort of anger more realistic, as it tends to build throughout the book, for instance, within the main character in a thriller. If it is written well, this can gain empathy from the reader, rather than make them want to step away and read about someone with a calmer outlook.

The type of anger I find jarring is when a character responds to a situation or confrontation only by shouting, swearing, perhaps throwing a tantrum, to the point it becomes boring and unpleasant to read. You know the character in a soap opera who is always taking what people say the wrong way and storming out of the pub, etc? Someone who reacts in this way, often, tends to be avoided by others. Such reactions are draining emotionally, and, in real life, people are not so volatile; your average adult does not make a habit of shouting, throwing tantrums or flying off the handle. Yet recently I’ve read quite a few books in which a main character seems incapable of reacting in any other way.

In the same way as using abusive language in dialogue, if any emotion is used too much, the impact is watered down. Use it sparingly, in a short burst, and it has a higher impact. If your character needs to be angry at the world then there are lots of other emotions that can express this, like sulking, wanting to be alone, bitterness, cynicism, anxiety. Most people display a huge range of emotions every single day; fictional characters should, too.

Writing tips

For professional advice on writing a range of emotions, I recommend the Writer’s Craft books from Rayne Hall. She talks sensibly about every emotion having a physical effect, in her book Writing Deep Point Of View, and also how to use a character’s mood to see different slants on situations.


Find Rayne on AmazonUk | AmazonUS

Other writers also recommend:

The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi – AmazonUK | AmazonUS

Or the works of James Scott Bell AmazonUK | AmazonUS

I’d be interested to hear any other readers’ opinion on this.

My #Bookreview of #NonFiction Writing Deep Point Of View by @RayneHall #WritingTips

Writing Deep Point Of View: Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors (Writer's Craft Book 13)Writing Deep Point Of View: Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors by Rayne Hall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Writing Deep Point of View is a non-fiction guide for writers who want to improve their work.

Rayne Hall explains how using the deep point of view perspective will give readers a more vivid reading experience, making them feel part of the story. They will hopefully get hooked from the start and continue to live inside the character’s head for the duration of the book.

Split into easy read chapters, the book has plenty of examples and simple exercises to try out. I particularly enjoyed the ‘Get Inside Your Character’s Head’, assignment, which gave me lots of ideas to think about.

There are a good number of chapters about such character aspects as emotions, body language and differences between how men and women see things. Even though I’m more of a reader than a writer I found plenty to take away from this book. I now understand why I enjoy some books more than others, even if they are written about a similar subject matter.

Recommended for those who want to improve their writing skills.

View all my reviews On Goodreads

Book Description

Do you want to give the readers such a vivid experience that they feel the events of the story are real and they’re right there? Do you want them to forget their own world and worries, and live in the main character’s head and heart?

The magic wand for achieving this is Deep Point of View.

Readers love it, because it gives them the thrill of becoming a different person. The reader doesn’t just read a story about a gladiator in the arena, an heiress in a Scottish castle, an explorer in the jungle, a courtesan in Renaissance Venice—she becomes that gladiator, heiress, explorer, courtesan.

Deep Point of View hooks readers from the start. After perusing the sample, he’ll click ‘buy now’ because he simply must read on, and when he’s reached the last page, he’s grown addicted to the character, doesn’t want the story to end, and buys the next book in the series at once.

A reader who has been in the grip of Deep Point of View may find other books dull and shallow. Who wants to read about a pirate, when you can be a pirate yourself? Immersed in Deep PoV, the reader enjoys the full thrills of the adventure from the safety of her armchair.

In this book, I’ll reveal the powerful techniques employed by bestselling authors, and I’ll show you how to apply them to rivet your readers. I’ll start with the basics of Point of View—if you’re already familiar with the concept, you can treat them as a refresher—and then guide you to advanced strategies for taking your reader deep.

This is not a beginners’ book. It assumes that you have mastered the basics of the writer’s craft and know how to create compelling fictional characters. If you like, you can use this book as a self-study class, approaching each chapter as a lesson and completing the assignments at the end of each session.

Now let’s explore how you can lead your readers deep into your story.

About the author

Rayne Hall

Rayne Hall writes fantasy and horror fiction, some of it quirky, most of it dark. She is the author of over sixty books in different genres and under different pen names, published by twelve publishers in six countries, translated into several languages. Her short stories have been published in magazines, e-zines and anthologies.

After living in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, she has settled in a small Victorian seaside town in southern England. Rayne holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Over three decades, she has worked in the publishing industry as a trainee, investigative journalist, feature writer, magazine editor, production editor, page designer, concept editor for non-fiction book series, anthology editor, editorial consultant and more. Outside publishing, she worked as a museum guide, apple
picker, tarot reader, adult education teacher, trade fair hostess, translator and belly dancer.

Currently, Rayne Hall writes fantasy and horror fiction and tries to regain the rights to her out-of-print books so she can republish them as e-books.

Her books on the writing craft (Writing Fight Scenes, Writing Scary Scenes, The Word-Loss Diet, Writing Dark Stories, Writing About Villains, Writing Short Stories to Promote Your Novel, Writing About Magic, Twitter for Writers) are bestsellers.

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