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#atozchallenge : E is for #Emotion #fiction #writing #quotes

 Theme: Quotes from Authors and Bookish People about Writing

Almost a week of the A to Z Challenge has flown past! Where did it all go? How many blogs have you visited so far? How many visits have you received in turn? Are you having fun?

Today on Amlokiblogs we talk about an important, but often overlooked aspect of fiction writing: Emotion. Writers these days are so focused on the sentence, on craft, on editing, that sometimes they edit the emotion right out of the piece.

One of the things to look for in a final draft is that throb of energy, the twinge or storm of emotion that triggered the writing. Without it, a story is lifeless, imho.

Here’s what some authors have to say about Emotion:

“If I ask you to think about something, you can decide not to. But if I make you feel something? Now I have your attention.”— Lisa Cron

“You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and
feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you
have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be
afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries
you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to
flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions
and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was
born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions,
instabilities, and it always balances them.”
  — Anais Nin

“Find the key emotion; this may be all you need know to find your short
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

“The goal, I suppose, any fiction writer has, no matter what your
subject, is to hit the human heart and the tear ducts and the nape of the neck
and to make a person feel something about the characters are going through and
to experience the moral paradoxes and struggles of being human.”
— Tim O’ Brien

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”– Robert Frost


Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Sherry Ellis says:

    Robert Frosts's quote is good. If the writer doesn't feel anything, then neither will the reader.

  • Shine Kapoor says:

    We share the same word for E.. Nice post

  • Susan Scott says:

    A great post thank you and so are the comments. (I always learn from them). We have to allow our own emotion to come through or shine through no matter how hard it may be to connect with it.
    I loved the quotes.
    Yes, having fun .. hope you are too! Fun can of course be hard work!

    Garden of Eden Blog

  • KT Did says:

    Without emotions we as humans aren't much of anything…then no story.
    Katy Did

    Life's Ride In Between

  • Kathe W. says:

    Emotions are what make humans so compex and interesting- we all see and feel things a bit differently than another. Thanks for co-hosting!

  • Perfect E post….looking forward to next week!

    D.B. McNicol
    A to Z: Romance & Mystery…writing my life

  • These are all great quotes, and so true. Emotion is important to any story.

  • Jolie du Pre says:

    Robert Frost got it for me – short and sweet.

    As far as your questions – I visit 5 new blogs a day, plus I visit all the blogs of people who leave comments at my blog posts. I'm very pleased with the results of the 2014 A to Z. For example, I've received at least 10 new sign-ups on my mailing list. For an author, that's always good news. People have been leaving comments for me. So that's always nice. I'm loving the hop so far. This is my third year. I thought I would be stressed out, due to all the other stuff I have to do, but I'm not!

    Precious Monsters

  • Mason Canyon says:

    I love those books that make you feel the emotions of the characters. Those stories that tug on your heartstrings and brings you to tears stays with you long after you read the last sentence.

  • Yesterday I was reading (listening) to A Clash of Kings–emotion is so important. I love when a book makes me gasp, grab whatever is next to me and squeeze until my knuckles turn white or laugh out loud. All of that is happening in this book (better be careful as I'm listening whilst driving…) 🙂

  • Trisha F says:

    That is a great quote from Lisa Cron. I think that's the key.

  • Lynda Dietz says:

    Some of my favorite books have made me laugh out loud or have made my stomach clench in sadness. I love a book that can take me to those extremes.

  • I have definitely revised the life out of a manuscript a couple of times and had to go back to an earlier draft where the emotions were alive and well.

  • klahanie says:

    Hi human, Damyanti,

    Whatever my human or I write, the writing tries to convey the emotion. If when writing and I'm thinking something of joy, of sadness, tears run down my doggy cheeks. We believe that the most powerful writing is emotions shared between the writer and the one person reading. A shared emotional experience.

    Now please, enjoy your Sunday. Come on over to my site, if you so wish and enjoy some Happy music. This is my emotive gift to you, my dear human friend.

    Penny, the pawsitive host of the Alphabark Challenge, 2014!

  • Tim and Lisa have it down pat. If you feel nothing when you read, why bother? Robert's quote made me laugh. He's right.

  • cleemckenzie says:

    F. Scott knew his stuff. It only takes one done well to make the character, the book work.

  • I like the last quote. When I feel emotions when I'm writing I'm certain I'm doing a good job.

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

  • Raw writing is phenomenal, especially if it's been edited correctly, leaving in the pure emotion, while making the work easy to read. Nice post, Damy 🙂

    MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Writing Tips
    Effectively Human
    Lots of Crochet Stitches

  • Bob Sanchez says:

    Yes, emotion makes fiction real.

  • Munir says:

    Beautiful "E" word. I don't think we can ever escape from it. Thanks.

  • T. A. Miles says:

    Emotion is a vital part of the human condition and experience. It cannot be omitted, though it can be difficult to understand and express. Art is a means by which all of us(creators and observers) can explore and express it and, in my opinion, we should and we should do so with fervor. I'm someone who lives at the height of passion and the brink of depression simultaneously, constantly. I'm eager for life and vitality, though I sometimes fear it. I crave the highs and I'm morbidly comfortable in the lows. When I read or write I want to have that experience and know the experiences of others just as intensely. This is why I read and why I write; purely for the emotional rush, to be alive and to witness others living. My favorite books are full of characters with passion and true depth of feeling.

    The Immarcescible Word

  • Fe says:

    Ahh! Emotion. How very right you are.

    My characters somehow always manage to draw it out of me although I have no idea how they do it. I'll be working on telling their story for them when all of a sudden, my eyes start leaking or I begin to chuckle. Intriguing…

  • LuAnn Braley says:

    Sometimes I feel like I've tipped the scales a little too much the other way…more than enough emotion and not enough craft. But it is what it is.

    I'd say I've visited over 50 blogs so far…trying to balance amongst people on my minion list, blogs to which I subscribed before the challenge that participate, people who comment on my blog. Gee, now I feel tired. It's either naptime or time for more coffee!

    LuAnn Braley
    AJ's Hooligans @AtoZChallenge
    Back Porchervations

  • Those are great quotes about story writing. The first book that made me cry was Charlotte's Web. I was 8. I came out of my bedroom with tears streaming down my cheeks, and my mom asked what was wrong. "Charlotte died!" She never forgot that.
    Donna On Palawan @ Quintessential San Diego From A to Z

  • Emotion is usually what draws me into a story idea that I have – an expression, or a tug of feeling from a character flashes into my head – if it's powerful enough, it develops into something, other times it just remains as a tiny fragment.
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles – A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX – A to Z Drabblerotic

  • Huntress says:

    Love these quotes. Sometimes I start out a chapter detailing the emotions my characters are feeling. That way I can better express them in the scene. Plus it helps to get into their heads. And yes, I do listen to Voices.

  • Lulu Newman says:

    I love it when I get emotional over a piece I am writing and reading. The most emotional piece of writing I have read recently was A Fault In Our Stars. I love it when I am moved by something so much I we'll up or laugh out load. Always a good indicator of a good author xxx

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