What is your greatest struggle in writing, and how do you plan to overcome it?

I have been complimented on my secondary characters, my prose, and my humor. The one thing people always tell me is they did not know who my main character was. They did not feel any emotion from her at all. I knew this in the back of my mind but never addressed it, hoping maybe no one would notice. They did. But I... show more I have been complimented on my secondary characters, my prose, and my humor. The one thing people always tell me is they did not know who my main character was. They did not feel any emotion from her at all. I knew this in the back of my mind but never addressed it, hoping maybe no one would notice. They did. But I was still avoiding it. I knew who she was and how she would react, but was not able to put it in writing. I knew it had nothing to do with my writing ability. Revealing her emotions meant confronting my own, which I never do. I avoid, ignore, and bottle most of my emotions. When they break free, it’s more stressful because it is accumulated. To share the emotions of my main character meant to take a deep look into my own. This doesn’t means she is a Mary Sue. This means by confronting my emotions and using my experiences to write my main character’s emotions I would expose myself to readers. I am a private person when it comes to emotion, and showing I feel lonely and sad and hurt scares the hell out of me. In other words, I like appearing well put together. I realized for my readers to truly connect to and relate to and understand my main character, I would have to face my fears and confront my emotions. So I did.

People read to feel, above all else. No matter what kind of personality someone has, there are universal emotions that everyone feels at one point in their life: loneliness, longing, fear of rejection, fear of death, wanting to belong, the need to rebel, wanting to protect loved ones, burdened, etc. These human truths, I realized, are what make or break a character. And not just by touching them on a surface level. I mean really getting deep into these truths is what makes a character stand out from the bunch.

BQ: How do you add emotion into your novel? I’m not asking for myself, but I want to know your specific way of going about it.
9 answers 9