Emotion And The Writer

Jul 5, 2024 | Writing

Two books, on open, and the pages inside it in the middle are bent so as to form a heart together.

I’m currently (re-)reading Techniques of the Selling Writer* by Dwight V. Swain, as it was recommended to me recently. The book is a basic for beginning writers, or anyone who needs reminders in some of the aspects covered within, which mostly revolve around writing fiction that resonates with readers.

Here’s an excerpt from the introductory chapter, on Emotion And The Writer, which I really like:

[E]ach of us experiences and responds to life differently, in a manner uniquely and individually his own.
Now all this is ever so important to the writer.
Because feeling is the place every story starts. (…)
As a writer, your task is to bring this heart-bound feeling to the surface in your reader: to make it well and swell and surge and churn.
Understand, feeling is in said reader from the beginning. You give him nothing he doesn’t possess already.
But emotion, for most people, too often is like some sort of slumbering giant, lulled to sleep by preoccupation with the dead facts of that outer world we call objective. When we look at a painting, we see a price tag. A trip is logistics more than pleasure. Romance dies in household routine.£
Yet life without feeling is a sort of death.
Most of us know this. So, we long wistfully for speeded heartbeat, sharpened senses, brighter colors.
This search for feeling is what turns your reader to fiction; the reason why he reads your story. He seeks a reawakening: heightened pulse; richer awareness.

This piece struck home because it made me realize just how important novels are, if they not only inspire us or provide us with an escape from the daily grind, but also help us reconnect with our heart…

*Disclosure: Affiliate links above are marked with asterisks (*). As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases a small percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you.