A friend asked me on Twitter after reading my post on writing short fiction, how does one get the reader to experience an emotional connect with what you are writing? There are some stories in which the plot isn’t particularly new or extraordinary yet they manage to make the readers feel a myriad of emotions.
Now I can list out all the different techniques that you can use to write your stories so that your readers get hooked. The way you create your characters, using plot, descriptions and twists in the narrative to hold their interest. You will find most of that on the Internet if you look for it.
What about the emotional connect then? How do you write something that will move your readers? In the words of Ernest Hemingway: write hard and clear about what hurts.
As a writer, you need to feel emotion when writing to be able to convey that feeling successfully to your readers. If your writing leaves you cold, how can you expect your reader to be moved to tears by it?
It’s a dangerous proposition. Difficult even. It can leave you feeling vulnerable and exposed. But whoever said writing is an easy job? And the simpler your tales are, the more complex emotions they will tap. You need to be prepared to journey to the dark places inside your soul, play with your own feelings and life experiences so that you can tell your tales convincingly. You have to make people believe, giggle uncontrollably, shed a tear or perhaps feel terrible rage.
These journeys will not be easy and they will leave you emotionally drained. But it will be worth it. That part I can guarantee. My last short story, The Red Thread, about a young apprentice tailor who falls in love with disastrous consequences left me weeping after I had written it. It wasn’t a particularly pleasant experience but recent events and a trip down memory lane prompted me to write it. Do read and tell me what you felt. I’d be curious to know.
Have you ever read a story that moved you to tears or rage or intense contemplation? Have you wondered what it was about that story that made you feel this way? Write back, I’m waiting to hear from you.
Meanwhile, you can read some of my other short stories on the Juggernaut Books app here.