I Teach People To Feel — That’s What Writers Do

2 thoughts on “I Teach People To Feel — That’s What Writers Do”

  1. As some one who recently discovered the importance of compassion, of both commiseration /and/ sharing in joys, as both an essential tool for understanding the world through an ethical lens and one for building close relationships, I’ve realized that being able to empathize with characters is possibly the most important aspect of a story for me. It’s less that the characters are similar to me and more that they are presented clearly, fully, and genuinely. Basically, I’m trying to say that I agree with this post.

    I would like to add that, in addition to using words in cliched ways or as unfitting hyperbole, there is this problem: trying to present how a person feels in a single word hardly calls attention to it. It’s easy to skip over understanding the character’s emotional state when a passage opens with ‘such-and-such event played on so-and-so’s anxieties’ and then just dives in to the action, causing the reader to forget to consider how emotional states might affect choices. At the same time too much focus on describing emotional responses might cause a pacing issue, but this makes it no less important to experiment with that balance.


    1. I agree. Writing creatively is really difficult. Understanding the emotional states that lead a person to make choices is one of the hardest task there is. Human beings are complex. Thank you for responding.

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