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How Do You Show Emotion in Writing?

Hi Everyone!!

I hope you are all having a great week! I’m currently editing my MS to go out on submission. Scary. I know. 

Hard to believe? 


My current quandary is how to get several emotions to show in a character at once. Easy, right? Often, this is the hardest thing for me,  but it’s the one thing that has the greatest pay-off for the reader. So I spend a lot of time on it.

So I thought I’d name some of the ways that help me get the emotion down on the screen. 

Let’s start with a guy who does something bad to someone he loves.

Pretty generic, right?

Well, what if this person doesn’t feel bad about what he did? What if what he did was for self preservation? What if he really doesn’t love that person, but he’s faking it? How do you show all that?

For me, the real emotion, the raw, burrow-down-into-your-soul emotion comes from a different place than setting, action, and plot.

I’ve used several things to portray emotion in my characters, some work, some don’t–depends on the day and my mood. There really is no right or wrong way, just what works for the story and for you.

These are a few of the things that work for me… usually ;o)

I’m sure I could think of more ways, but those are what stand out to me. What about you? What do YOU do to get that raw emotion from your characters? 

You’ll notice quite a few more posts in September than usual. I’m taking part in Pitch Madness with my friends, Brenda Drake, Shelley Watters and the YAtopia blog. For more information on Pitch Madness click here! Also, I have a special post about a fellow bloggy friend doing something really great for someone else. You don’t want to miss it. Check it out 9/18. Also, make sure to check back on 9/4 for an announcement about the new YAMisfits blog I’m a part of!

Lots of excitement in the mosh pit!!

Have a wonderful rest of the week and holiday weekend (for the Americans)

Rock on! 

4 Responses to “How Do You Show Emotion in Writing?”

  1. This is an interesting topic, Erica. I’ll add body language and physical action to the list. Those are the biggest “tells” and can be employed subtly, especially when a character is trying to hide emotion.

  2. Absolutely!! That’s really important. Totally agree. Thanks ;o)

  3. Great post Erica. Moody music set on repeat usually gets me in the mood for very emotional scenes. Thanks for the tips!

    Also, I love that picture of you. 🙂

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