Hey there! Welcome back to Too Many Books to Count! I’m glad you decided to stop by. Always makes my day brighter, knowing you’re here.*
This month, we’ve been talking about the things readers are looking for in good writing, and how we, as writers, can use those things to mold the stories we write. I’m not suggesting that we write to market, that we should bend our writing style to fit what the current market is looking for—on the contrary, I’m suggesting that we grow our writing potential, using the things readers are looking for in fiction. I’m suggesting that we grow as writers in general, honestly.
#6: Stories that make you cry
Readers love being brought to tears by the books they read. It makes us sound a little strange, but it’s true. We love to feel emotion, and to be brought into that emotion via the things we’re reading. It’s one of the reasons why we read, why we long for story. We long for emotion.
For my own reading, I love finding a new book that makes me feel things I haven’t felt in a long time. I love falling in love, alongside a character. I love crying with them when they’re in pain (and I hate crying, so that’s really saying something). I love every bit of emotion that grows from story, and it’s one of the things I always look for in fiction. Always.
Have you ever heard the saying, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader?” It’s true. I’ve noticed it, when my beta readers read my work. If I’m trying to write an emotional scene and I don’t feel that emotion myself, my readers won’t feel it either.
So in order to write the type of gripping and moving stories that really get to our readers, we have to let our stories get to us, too. It’s not nearly as easy as it sounds.
Living in that kind of an emotional rollercoaster is just as difficult as it sounds. It’s like living multiple lives at the same time, and it’s one of the many reasons why writers so often struggle with our own emotions. It’s why we sometimes have difficulty separating ourselves from our works, and why it’s so difficult for us when people don’t love our work as much as we do.
But you know what?
It’s also what makes us pretty amazing, because it’s not just anyone who can live that many lives, who can experience that level of emotion over and over again, and stand up tall even when we don’t want to, just so people can read what we’ve written.
You’re pretty special, if you’re a writer.
You can make people cry, you can make them feel things they’ve never felt before.
Never forget that, okay?