How To Write Emotive Stories

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The “Friend” publishes a wide selection of stories, including romance, historical and crime. Some stories may lend themselves to more excitement, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to emotion. So, what is emotive writing, and how can you introduce it into your “Friend” stories?

Emotive writing stems from characters – their feelings, relationships and goals. As a writer, you want the reader to engage with the characters; to laugh with them, to cry with them. But most of all, you want the reader to identify with them.

Character identification

This is when the reader feels what the character is feeling. For example, a character has to make a heart-wrenching decision. Show what the character is experiencing through dialogue, thoughts and behaviour. You want the reader to sympathise with your heroes’ and heroines’ plight.

Tip 1: Underdogs make good protagonists.

What’s on the line?

Make your protagonists work for their objectives. No-one wants to read through smooth-sailing plots. Throw an obstacle your protagonist’s way, then throw another one. How does your protagonist react to the obstacles? An emotive story doesn’t have to involve life-changing situations, but it should involve a character’s desire to succeed – whether it come to fruition or not.

Tip 2: Stay clear of passive protagonists – make them assertive.  

Make it real

As a writer bring your own feelings to the table. Can you write about an estranged couple if you haven’t broken up with anyone? Of course you can. Whether it’s a happy, sad or indifferent emotion, put yourself in your protagonist’s shoes. As a result, the other characters around your protagonist will act accordingly. There’s nothing as unpredictable as human emotion.

Tip 3: Foil characters accentuate the attributes of the protagonist.

Don’t shock

Sometimes emotive stories can shock or depress the reader. When dealing with emotion, emphasise hope. If it’s a sad story, make the reader smile through the tears. If it’s a surprise story ending, don’t leave the reader dejected or unsatisfied. Offer hope that the sun will rise the next day.

Tip 4: Good feelings equals good storytelling.  

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.