3 Powerful Ways to Hook Your Reader With Emotion

In this post, you will learn how to hook your reader with feeling, how individuals experience feeling through reading and three tips to cultivate that emotion through your writing. Then, well end with an innovative composing exercise you can use to use these lessons immediately.

Stories, at their core, are a medium for interacting numerous things, but chief amongst them is feeling. That suggests among the finest methods to hook your reader is through emotion.

In college, I learnt interaction, and the first thing I found out is that interaction is a two-way street– it requires a receiver and a sender. As authors, we are senders, and our readers are receivers. What are we communicating?

Your Writing Communicates Emotion to Readers

The readers themselves supply much of the motivation for this stress by the quality of their own creativity and emotion.

A skillful writer ensures that stress underlies every page of the story, drawing the reader in and pulling them along. With every boost in stress comes a greater requirement in the reader to find what will occur next.

You are not passively soaking up info when you check out. This is especially real when it pertains to fiction. As you check out stories, you experience occasions, face challenges, and feel feelings. Though you might appear to be sitting still, you remain in virtual motion.

There are things you need to do, as a writer, to help with the transfer of tension from your words to her mind.

How to Better Communicate Emotion

Here are 2 ways you as an author can much better transmit emotion to your reader:

1. Get Readers to Care About Your Characters Sooner Rather than Later

I just recently saw the very first season of The Umbrella Academy. Honestly, if I hadnt had many family and friends members informing me what an intriguing show it was, I wouldnt have actually made it past the 2nd episode. Sure it was fascinating and crazy, however I didnt actually care what took place.

readers require to care about a character prior to they will invest emotionally in what occurs to that character, and so getting your reader to care must be one of your very first objectives in your story.

Events at the end of the third episode lastly engaged me emotionally, and I happily finished the very first season and started into the next. I do not know why it took so long to hook me, however take this as a lesson:

Get your readers to appreciate your characters earlier rather than later.

2. Show Pain to Boost the Emotional Stakes

The key is intensity. In his extremely helpful book, Characters & & Viewpoint, Orson Scott Card points out that: “The strength of the characters feeling, as long as it stays bearable and credible, will significantly intensify the readers sensations– whatever they are.”

” Life is Pain, Highness.”

Pain is one of the most powerful methods to increase the emotional stakes in a story since both the inflicter of the pain and the one who suffers it, handle more compound, become more real. An essential thing to remember is that your reader will not always feel what the character is feeling. The objective, here, is to tap into the readers own emotional well so he can experience something special and substantial to him.

Stretch the reader outside those limitations and youre liable to lose her. Repeating of the very same discomfort point leads to decreasing returns and its typically more reliable to show the causes and impacts of the discomfort rather than overtly referring to it and explaining it once again and again.

Are you flashing back to Westley in a mask that makes him appear like a raccoon? If not, I suggest you instantly see The Princess Bride. Its a great story, loaded with a lot of storytelling lessons for the astute observer, chief among them, the value of discomfort for our stories.

3. Crescendo With a Sacrificial Choice

This pain-by-choice always has greater strength and more dimension than discomfort on its own. It normally brings with it the crux of story conflict– the need to select between the finest of bad options or between 2 irreconcilable goods.

Another effective method to enhance the emotional stakes in your story is by sacrifice. The important things that takes sacrifice an action beyond simple pain is that it is made by choice. A character picks to quit something valuable, their lives for instance, for the sake of a higher good.

Pain-by-choice, in a story, constantly has higher significance than pain-by-circumstance.

That is heart-wrenching. That resonates.

Communicating Emotion Case Study: Les Miserables

Marius Pontmercy suffers the discomfort of being torn in between pursuing the lady he likes or standing with his bros in a memorable revolution. The common peasants compromise their furnishings, even prized pianos, to produce a barrier for the rebels. And little Gavroche, who valiantly faces down the French army and surrenders his life for his comrades.

Obviously the hero, Valjean, makes a whole series of sacrifices throughout the story, increasing the stress and driving the viewer (or reader) to concentrate on discovering what happens next. And the villain of the piece, Javert, acts upon his own imperatives that need sacrifice and pain, involving us mentally on his part, as well.

I recently watched a motion picture variation of Les Miserables. There are couple of much better examples of a display for discomfort and sacrifice than Victor Hugos impressive and heartbreaking tale. It begins with the unjust misfortune of Jean Valjean, who invested nineteen years of hard labor in prison for taking a loaf of bread to feed his siss children.

We see his discomfort, as a result of his sacrifice, however thats just the start. Theres a whole lineup of characters making hard options and suffering the repercussions. The bishop who compromises his worldly ownerships to give Valjean a 2nd possibility. Fantine, who compromises her hair, her teeth, her virtue, and her life to care for her child. Eponine, who suffers the pain of desiring what she can not have and yet sacrifices her own joy for the sake of the extremely one who takes it from her.

Emotion is the Key to a Readers Heart

As much as we might hope to avoid them in reality, discomfort and sacrifice are preferable additions to a story. They include dimension and richness to this two-way procedure in between writer and reader, producing a gratifying experience all around.

How about you? Have you used the concepts of discomfort and sacrifice to enrich your own writing? Experienced it in your reading? Tell us about it in the comments.

Intense and genuine emotion is the key to a readers heart. Bear in mind that a story, provided successfully, interacts that emotion, permitting the reader to go through something distinct and meaningful.


Lets practice choosing between best bad options and irreconcilable products. Select a prompt below and write a scene where the character wrestles with the option and makes a sacrifice.

Jane should pick whether to cheat on the mathematics examination or provide up her scholarship
Darren should pick whether to protect his mother from his abundant and dubious dad or side with his father and get a wealthy inheritance
Sven must select between marrying the female he loves and marrying the lady he grew up with and always anticipated to wed

Compose for fifteen minutes. Publish your work in the remarks and dont forget to supply feedback for your fellow writers when you are finished!

Joslyn Chase

As authors, we are senders, and our readers are receivers. Discomfort is one of the most powerful ways to increase the psychological stakes in a story due to the fact that both the inflicter of the discomfort and the one who suffers it, take on more compound, end up being more genuine. An essential thing to keep in mind is that your reader will not always feel what the character is feeling. The goal, here, is to tap into the readers own psychological well so he can experience something special and significant to him.

Stretch the reader outside those limits and youre responsible to lose her.

Any day where she can send out readers to the edge of their seats, prickling with thriller and chewing their fingernails to the nub, is a good day for Joslyn. Get her most current thriller,
Steadmans Blind, an explosive read that will keep you turning pages to the end.
No Rest: 14 Tales of Chilling Suspense, Joslyns most current collection of short suspense, is available totally free at

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