Feelings, to me, are the most important aspect of a well written book. You can a have a book that is technically perfect, every word perfectly in context and the grammar beyond reproach. But if it lacks feelings, then it will never be widely read, no matter how many college professors tout it as an example of great writing. Human beings crave emotions, we are beings of both logic and emotion. But when we engage in leisure activities, i.e. reading, we crave emotion and color, something to feed our soul hunger. However, emotions are such complex things that I could spend days writing about them. So I will just focus on one subject for this post. Tears. Tears are one of the most expressive emotions without even saying a word. So let’s get started.
Her hand flew up and covered her mouth as she squinted against the sun. The crowds leaving the airport had finally started to thin and she could finally see the familiar gait of the man she was waiting for. Feeling tears prick at the corner of her eyes, she waved her arm wildly to catch his attention. They spilled over when he turned and grinned at her, his long legs eating up the distance between them. Burying her face in his shoulder as she cried and laughed, she couldn’t help thinking, “He’s home, he’s finally home.”
The suitcase lay open on the bed, the cat sitting curiously next to it. Julie was on auto pilot as she moved between the closet and dresser and the suitcase. When the suitcase was full, she just stood there and stared at it blankly, numbness blanketing her. It was only the wet nose and gentle nudge of her cat that drew her out of her bleak thoughts. Sitting carelessly on the bed, she scooped up the cat and cuddled her close. Feeling her frozen mask finally thaw, the tears spilled over as she murmured, “Why doesn’t he love me anymore?”
Tears of Regret
Everything felt muted and distant, like she was observing things from a long way. Everything was quiet, the quiet music, the murmurs of the family greeting those who’d come to pay their last respects, the guests whispers of condolences. But even worse than the quietness was the gleaming coffin sitting at the front of the church, a beautiful floral arrangement resting on top. She’d gotten the call a week ago that her grandmother was ailing and that she needed to get to the hospital right away. However, there had been an accident on the highway, a semi had spilled it’s load on the road and it had taken forever to get cleared up. By the time she’d arrived, it had been too late. Her grandmother had already passed on. She hadn’t gotten to tell her how much she loved her and appreciated having her in her life. Discreetly wiping away the single tear that had escaped, Sara took a deep breath and prayed that she would be able to make it through the service without breaking down.
The meeting finally broke up and Joan slowly made her way to the ladies room, making sure to keep her pace casual and her face calm. When she finally reached the sanctuary of the bathroom, she shut the door quietly and locked it firmly behind her. It was only then that she allowed the tears that had been burning at the back of her eyes to spill forth. It wasn’t fair, she had spent nearly two years on this project only to have it yanked from under her and given to John because the client would only work with a man. After only a minute of crying, she forced the tears back and started repairing her makeup. Maybe it was time to start searching for a job that actually appreciated her talents.
Tears of Rage
She stormed down the concrete stairwell heading for the parking garage. She needed to get out of here, needed a few minutes to calm down and get her head on straight. She felt tears streaking down her cheeks but ignored them, too angry to bother with the pretense that was demand by polite society. If they’d been forced to endure what she just had then they would be furious too. Her ex had invited her over so she could get her things, but it had turned out to be an ambush by him and his mother. According to them, it was her fault that he had cheated on her, if only, if only. After holding her temper for at least 20 mins in the hopes of getting her stuff, she’d finally cracked. She gave them the middle finger salute and told them to do whatever they wanted with her stuff before storming out. She didn’t want any reminders of that lying worm anyway.
Sorry for writing a novel, but that is just the tip of the iceberg, there are so many more that I didn’t even touch upon.
I don’t know if this is true for other authors, but writing emotions exhaust me. It’s almost as if I live through the emotions alongside the characters. So what emotion/emotions draw you to characters? And what was the worst written emotion that you’ve ever seen?