Why Should I Attend the Asheville Christian Writers’ Conference? Make the Most of Your 15-Minute Conference Appointments – Cindy Sproles 7 Things to Do NOW to be Ready When Writing Inspiration Strikes – Edie Melson You Need a Platform – Living A Story- Assignment 3 Redundancy: An Excessive, Oppressive, Pervasive Disease The One Sheet The Bio – The Fragrance of Who You Are Over-Edit? Imagery–When This is Like That Basic Writing and Editing Tips Blog or Website—Which One Does a Writer Really Need? – Edie Melson A Blog about Blogging My Blogging Affair – Terri Webster My GPS Writing Life: “Recalculating” – Elva Cobb Martin Is Your Blog Healthy? Conferences – Finding Direction Navigating Your Writing Success Why Your Writer’s Bio is Valuable Real Estate Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack Evaluate Your Progress on the Writing Path – Edie Melson So You Were Asked to be a Beta Reader Writing the Perfect Bio Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul 2014 Cleaning Guide for Writers (Critiques) Pray Uniquely Write Right – A Christian Writing Career Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015 Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul The Conference is Over – Awe, Man! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada 15 Minute Appointments – Cindy Sproles Break Out of Your Writer’s Cell – Denise Loock Writers Call Out Assignment 3 – Conflict in Every Scene? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Assignment 2 – Gaining Word Count Assignment 1 – Picture Perfect Bio Writing as a Ministry Titles – Terrible or Terrific? How 5 Simple Tips Can Change Everything Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack 10 Reasons NOT to Become a Novelist Commas – Bethany Kaczmarek Compounds Are Not that Complex – Bethany Kaczmarek Divorce My Words…Never! Get Your Grammar Fix (ed) – What Kind of Mood Are You In, Verb? Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s & Other Forms of Dementia Find Your Blog’s Subscriber List and Schedule Email Notifications with Feedburner Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life And Objective Look at Subjectivity My Take on…Creating Villians – Part 2 Mike Dellosso My Take On . . . Villains, Part 1 – Mike Dellosso Chicken Soup for the Soul – Writers Call Out Touching the Spirit of Our Readers Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home First in Fiction – Characters – Aaron Gansky Critiques – No Pain, No Gain Making Time to Rest Writers Call Out The End – Saying Goodbye to a Story Writing’s Circle of Life Here a Tweak, There a Tweak, Everywhere a Tweak, Tweak What’s So Wrong with Waiting? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup Books Emotion – Moving the Reader from Common to Uncommon Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Writing the Best You Can Bringing Security Blankets to Conferences—Tips for the Linus-Writers “Who Wants to Write a Story With Me?” CONTEST! – Mike Dellosso How to Get Amazon Reviews – Eddie Jones Freedom as a Holy Ghost Writer – Edie Melson My Worth Is NOT Determined by My Numbers – Edie Melson An Author’s Responsibilty – Cindy Sproles Call Out for Writers Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers – Author Edie Melson Carolina Christian Writers Conference Chicken Soup Writing Opportunity The Tweet Life, Why Bother with Twitter? Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters – Writing Op How Writing an Article is Like Feeding a Baby – Edie Melson After the Conference…then what? Assignment 5 – Characteristics of a Lazy Writer Assignment 4 – TickyToes@urggggmail.com Assignment 3 – Pack a Punch When You Write Top Ten Authors Southern Writers Awards Boot Camp Free Subscriptions Assignment 2 – Vonda Skelton How to Make an Appointment Why I Should Make an Appointment Keep Your Image Current Top Five Blogspots Be an Encourager – Cindy Sproles Learning the Lingo – Part 4 – Appointment Etiquette with Agents/Editors Learning the Lingo – Part 3 – Publishing Terms Learn the Lingo – Critique Groups – Part 2 Learning the Lingo – Steps to Understand the Art of Writing and Publishing – Part 1 Preparing to Attend a Writers Conference Writing the Perfect Bio Don’t Forget! Writing Opportunity – Zookeepers Ministry Is SEO Dead? – Edie Melson What’s Holding You Back?

Emotion – Moving the Reader from Common to Uncommon

Photo courtesy of www.teachingmadness.com

“You write from a distance.” I couldn’t figure out exactly what that meant, but the words jumped off the page of a critique I’d had done at a conference. I write at a “DISTANCE.”  So if I write at a distance, how did I learn to write up close and personal?

When I had the opportunity to sit across the table from the critquer, I learned my writing lacked emotion. Phrases and words that tripped the readers senses, drew them into the character and allowed them to “feel.”  The writing was good, but it lacked the most important part of a story…emotional impact.

I began my writing adventure by learning to write devotions and it was here, God taught me the most valuable lesson I’d ever learn in writing. He taught me to open up. If I wanted the words He gave me to move the reader, then I needed to bleed onto the page. I practiced daily and more so, I prayed about how to touch the reader. If I could write something that moved my own heart, I would have gained the ability connect on a very personal and intimate level to the story I told. To this day I believe this is the single most important writing lesson I have ever learned. This was the  lesson God taught me…to move my own heart from a place of commonality into a new and uncommon place. When I could do that then God was teaching me to write with emotion and heart. Not just pretty words.

There is power in mastering the art of emotion in writing. It’s more than pretty words, more than the story…it’s a ballroom dance where emotion allows the story to lead and the two twist and twirl around the floor in perfect harmony. Graceful and beautiful. But it takes practice. It takes hard work…but who ever said the craft of writing was easy?

My buddy Eddie, described emotion best. “You gotta find your scab and scratch. Scratch until it bleeds.” I can’t think of a better explanation of  adding emotion into your writing. When you go to that place where you are or have been wounded, recount the pain, then translate the things you feel into words. That is place you are most vulnerable…the place where your heart begins to speak. When you learn to lasso that feeling and place it into words, you will move people from common to uncommon. They’ll feel your pain, understand your ache and most importantly, identify. You’ll stir something deep inside of the reader that causes a knee-jerk, gut-wrenching moment. And it will stick with them.

When I want the reader to see the heart of the character, I take myself to that place of pain or even great joy, drag out the thesaurus and search for new and unique words. It’s important to find a ways to write the “same ole’ same ole”  in a  new and different light.

For example: The couch was beautiful.  It’s to the point. Lets the reader know the couch was pretty, but what happens when we rethink a pretty couch and add emotion? The satin printed couch dripped in elegance. The scent of her perfume resonated from the cushions. With each breath the smell of love wafted through his senses. In his mind, he could touch her hair, stroke her tender skin…hold her close once again. 

Or – Her heart was broken.  Add in emotion. Her heart ached. The weight of the pain pressed against her chest as she gasped for a breath…a paper heart ripped into tiny pieces and tossed into the wind. Is this what a broken heart felt like?

Emotion comes through word choice – searching out the perfect descriptive word that takes the reader to a deeper level. Taking the common and moving it to uncommon. Digging deeper into your own emotion and finding the point that aches and then pulling that emotion to the surface and learning to describe it.  Emotion also comes through honesty, too. Learning to write truthfully, with passion and true concern.

The next time you write a common phrase, add emotion and then step it up a notch.

Here are a few COMMON words taken to the UNCOMMON level to get you started thinking.

Common                                               Uncommon

Tore                                                       Ripped, Shredded, fray, rift, rupture
Broken                                                   Shattered, severed, crumbled
Fear                                                       Timidity, trembling, tremor, trepidation,angst
Cry                                                         Bawl, weep, lament, whimper
Laugh                                                     Guffaw, snicker, chuckle, titter
Blink                                                       Flutter, squint, glitter, glimmer

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