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November 7, 2012


Replies: 18

How to write beauty, emotions, etc.

ShadowyEclipse Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Now, I've been stumped for quite a while.

Whenever I write, it's always due to an emotion I have, and I feel writing any differently is a detriment to whatever you manage to write. Always write what you feel, because if you write with emotions, than the reader will be able to feel them too.

However, I've been suffering major writer's block. My writing is not cutting it anymore, it's not emotional enough for me, it doesn't convey the sense of beauty I want to get across in the writing, it seems to have no purpose. I look at my gallery, and the countless other un-submitted works on my Scrivener and find myself hating them. I want to improve them, somehow.

Hating my work because they lack true emotion. I can read another book, and at that perfect, specific scene, I can find myself weeping manly tears. I can't do that with my own. I can watch a great movie, or play an emotional game, and feel emotions wash through me. Anything but my own work.

If anyone else has suffered through something like this, how have you gotten around it? Did you manage to improve your writing? How so?

tl;dr: My writing doesn't convey emotion properly.

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Devious Comments

EnuoCale Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Find something that makes you emotional, and use it when you need to be.
AircatSkylion Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
My advice would be to stop working on any current project, sit down with a blank document/piece of paper and just write what you feel, whatever emotion it is. You could do it in the form of a journal entry, explaining your frustration and fury. Or write an angry character. Just start with a simple scene, a blank slate, and let your emotion carry you on.

Often I've found when writing my dreams down in a sort of story mode, I'm actually writing really well, because the story and characters are already there, in my dream. All I have to do is focus on getting as much as possible down on paper, and it comes out as a better piece of writing than some of my projects I work really hard on.
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It sounds like you know exactly what your problem is, but instead of facing it head on you're overthinking it and tossing in writers' block as an added excuse.
raspil Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012   Writer
stop pulling your punches. that's what you're doing, that's why you're not satisfied. write what is in your head exactly as you see it or feel it. get raw. keep practicing. stop being afraid. don't immediately be defensive to the things i'm saying, either.

and for the record, everyone who does anything has gone through the same things everyone else has. there are 7bn people on earth. yes, we have gone through the same shit together, even if in different ways.

your writing doesn't convey emotion because you are holding back because of fears you have that you aren't able to deal with for reasons. get over it and put the words down. and remember, emotions are fucking overrated. i don't want to read about your emotions or your character's emotions. i want to read about someone doing something.

read more, experience things without fear. you have to crawl before you can run and you have to live before you can write (or at least have something to write that's worth reading).
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Professional General Artist
My impression is that you're going about the problem the wrong way. That is, you're approaching emotion in your work as something that has to come directly from you and will somehow magically register on the page. What's more likely to come from this approach is vague and abstract language, which isn't going to give the reader anything firm to go on. Alternately, you risk veering into whiny melodrama or navel-gazing over feelings. Maybe you should try picking up that book with the scene that made you weep and analyze why it made you emotional (apart from just how you were feeling that day or the experiences you brought to it). More likely than not, the writer was not weeping when they wrote it, though they probably brought their own experiences and feelings to the work. They probably also understood how to assemble the scenes so there would be a rise in intensity. They probably didn't use vague language that told you what to feel, but imagery, action, engaging characters that involved you emotionally and made you care enough to weep. They probably also made use of tone, mood, atmosphere to help convey the feeling.

The other problem here might be your level of intimacy with the work. Many writers give themselves a break before revising the work, because doing so allows them to see the work clearly without all their emotions and expectations getting in the way. Your opinion here might be more subjective than objective, and when that happens it's sometimes good to just put it away and work on something else.
J-Goth Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Student General Artist
Write with emotion, but not your emotion, because then it only relates to you. Open your mind to a wider range of possibilities. If you're sad, write something romantic or happy. If you're happy, write something sad, you don't have to MAKE yourself sad, but you can always train your mind to be versatile that way. Ever heard the saying "Happy people can't act."? It's true in a way, some of the darkest personalities do things like romance novels or stand up, because they wan't to separate themselves from that part of them within that moment. My advice to you is, don't try to make the world feel the way you do. Try to make them feel, in general.
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Always write what you feel, because if you write with emotions, than the reader will be able to feel them too.

There's your first mistake. A writer can no more convey emotion simply by feeling it while he writes than a graphic artist can convey a sense of light, or proportion, or perspective, or anything else by seeing these things as he draws. It's done by deliberate artifice, not some semi-mystical transference of your feelings onto a page.

That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with your work just because YOU don't react to it. Perhaps the most emotionally charged scene in my own writing (based on user feedback) leaves me almost completely flat when I read it. The scene had been in my head for a long time, and I read it over multiple times while drafting and redrafting. It's got too much retread on it for me now, and I suspect it's like that for a lot of writers.

Trust your readers if they're telling you how they react to your work. It's your writing's impact on THEM that's important, not on you.
KWhipkey Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Professional Writer
Perfectly said. I was going to say basically the same thing, but I think you did it better. So instead, I'll just second your opinion. ;)
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012   Digital Artist
Go and look at some of the scenes in books that you think convey emotion well and see what they do. That's what I did, I had a look at a scene in a particular book where a character dies, and I noticed that there were no 'fancy words' describing emotions. It just told what was happening. You don't really need to describe the emotion as such. Just tell it like it is, and if you've written about the characters enough and what the stakes are, the reader can tell that something is sad etc. without you having to tell them.

And think about movies. They can convey emotion through body language and dialogue only (and music, but you can't have that. ;P)
LadyAnder Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Why so focused on emotion for?

Don't focus solely on creating emotion. To me, writing based on thinking that is the only way to write is based on emotions is a trap. Focus on learning how to write well. Believe it or not, one doesn't have to write due to an emotion. Maybe that works with certain types of poetry or something, but isn't necessary. You need to learn to write on more than emotion. Character in a story feel things emotionally but they experience the world around them as well. You need to learn to write what they see, what they taste, and what what they hear. Learn to convey how they react and show that that. Learn to write when you don't feel anything. Learn to write something that isn't supposed to be emotional. Write, that is the only way writers get better at writing. Read and actually look at the writing. Figure out what makes what you have read good then try to mirror that technique and refine it.

If anything, write so that the audience can understand what you are writing. Write with clarity. If you or anyone else feels something from what you write, then that is an added bonus. It shouldn't be your focus.
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