I’ve talked quite a bit in the past about some little things that might help tighten your writing, help you craft your story just a little. I’m no expert, just sharing what things seem to help me.
This time I want to share one point.
Feelings. Get used to this word. I’m going to overuse it in the next few paragraphs.
Feelings are what make a novel. It doesn’t matter if you can craft a story with perfect techniques. It doesn’t matter if your plot is pure genius. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve researched to make the story genuine and real. It doesn’t matter if you are a master of dialogue. If your story isn’t something that you feel deeply – and if you can’t get that feeling across to your readers, you’ve not done your job.
It’s what makes the difference between “Who cares?” and “Man, I can’t stop reading! What happens to the hero? I have to find out!”
Without feeling, you’ve got a cardboard story. You have to make your reader feel. Whether it be laughter, tears, anger – without engaging emotions, the reader won’t care. The story will sit on the page and die.
So to use a cliché, get in touch with your feelings, then get those feelings in your story and to your readers!
originally published in The Sword Review 2006-05-01