One of my favorite things about being a writer is the ability to make people feel things with my words. I want people to feel angry, sad, happy, and grossed out. I want what they read to be so real, they can feel it and taste it. One example I think of is C.S. Lewis in The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe when he describes Narnia. It’s Winter, there’s snow on the ground and it’s cold. It’s described several times as always Winter, never Christmas.
Lewis knew that most people hate the cold in winter and the only thing to look forward to is Christmas. He’s showing how little hope there is. It’s always Winter. (Side Note: Jase loves winter and he could handle 100 years of it) So we see how Lewis is using his words to convey the emotion he wants his readers to feel. Then, later in the story as the children and beavers are moving along, they see father christmas! He hasn’t been in Narnia for 100 years! What is this telling us? HOPE is there. Even when things are at their bleakest, there is hope.
Think about it! If it’s always been Winter and never Christmas, seeing father Christmas would cause your heart to leap! If that’s not enough, the snow is also melting and flowers are blooming.Spring is coming.The white witch is losing power. Aslan is on the move and he’s bringing hope back to Narnia. I get super excited reading this story. Honestly, reading the entire Chronicles Of Narnia series, I felt so many emotions.
So, as you can tell, one author I look up to is C.S. Lewis. I love how he crafts his words. There are many other authors we can add to that list as well. I won’t go into them here though.
To connect with readers we have to connect with their emotions. Otherwise it’s no different from reading a how to manual. I can’t tell you the number of books I’ve put aside due to boringness. I try to push through and give them a chance, sometimes I succeed and make it through. When I do, it feels like I’ve run a marathon. It’s exhausting to read something with no heart.
What do we do as writers to capture emotions? Practice! Your voice and ability grows with practice. Your readers will notice the difference as well. Don’t sell yourself short. Jump in and begin to write. Remember, if you don’t feel anything when you write, the readers won’t feel anything either.
I’ll close with a personal example. In my last book, Bryan’s Journey, there was a scene near the end that I was so excited about. I enjoyed writing it so much and I even cried when writing it. I watched my wife read the book. I couldn’t wait for her to get to that part. When she did, I saw her crying and laughing. That is the best feeling ever! It makes agonizing over the words worth it. Keep writing! Don’t give up! You can do it. Share your favorite authors or lines from a book below. I’d love to see who and what moves you!