Writing for Emotion: Connecting Reader and Character

      Many times, you want your reader and POV character to feel the same emotions. But deliberately evoking the same emotions in the reader and character requires empathy (on the part of the reader), clear writing (on the part of the writer), and interest (on the part of the reader).
       Empathy actually can be intellectual or emotional. These two types of empathy can be used separately or together. With the intellectual type, the reader recognizes and identifies with the character’s situation/ experience. In the emotional type of empathy, the reader experiences the emotion (sometimes even the physical effects of the emotion) along with – or on behalf of – the character. Many times, the first type will lead to thee second type – but when you follow this sequence beware that you are not falling into the trap of stereotypical reactions.
       Clear writing is necessary to connect reader and character emotion. For the reader to empathize, the character’s reactions must be clear. Again, emotion has three components: thought, behavior, and feeling. Thought and behavior are excellent ways of showing, while feeling is often told. The higher the higher the quality of emotional clues that you givee the reader, the easier it will be for the reader to identify and relate to the emotion.
      Interest is a sometimes overlooked ingredient in connecting reader and character emotions. If the reader does not care about the character, then the reader probably not care about how that character feels. Or at least not care at a visceral level.
While a disconnect between reader and character emotions can be a useful tool, you’ll probably aim for empathy most of the time. To achieve this, you need to write with the reader in mind. Maybe not in the first draft, but certainly before your final draft

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