What is Emotion?
Emotion is feelings. I think we all understand that, but we might not understand how that pertains to a story. Emotion in a story is what brings emotion out in the reader. For example, I cannot read Danielle Steele books. It’s not because they are bad books or that I don’t like them. I get too emotional when I read them.
What is Realism?
Realism is the ability of the reader to feel the scene around them. It is relatable. It is to describe a scene or emotions so real that the writer doesn’t have to allude to it or put up a neon sign. They can see it and feel it for themselves. It brings the reader into the story.
Benefits for Your Story
Realism is important for your story because it helps the reader feel like he/she is there. The idea of a story is to bring the reader into the word the author has created. That means it needs to feel real.
What about emotion? You need to have that. Otherwise the story is flat and boring. Readers crave that emotion. They can relate to the characters.
How to Add Them to Your Story
So now we come to the big question: How do we add emotion and realism to the story? Very intentionally.
Adding emotion can be added to your story in several different ways.
Facial Expressions - If someone is angry, you can show it by how their face looks. Describe the frown or the smile. Emotion then fills the pages. The face can say a lot.
Action - The actions of a character tells the reader the emotions and even draws them into them. Are they sad? They won’t be skipping from point A to point B. They’ll drag their feet or have hunched shoulders.
Words - What one says can add a lot of emotion. Use them correctly to set the emotional stage well. If someone wants to show another character they care, their words will reflect that.
Ambiance - Think about creating a romantic dinner for two tonight. You will probably lower the lights and have candles. There could be music. You’ve created ambiance for your dinner. Now do the same for your story. Create the mood for the scene and even the characters by giving it ambiance. A demon lurking should be hinted at with shadows, unnatural quiet, or a strange smell.
It’s the little things that add realism to your story. Think about it this way. Telling a reader that someone is in a luxury car is one thing. Adding a bit of description makes it more real. Describe the leather seats. Give an indication of how luxury it is.
The more you can give the reader to make them feel as though they are in the story the better. Okay, let me correct that. You don’t want to give them too much. A description of the car for two pages is way too much. All you need is a little bit of the realism here and there to make it feel real to be as a reader.