I've decided to post some writing craft posts on this site for now to help or to give some inspiration to all my friends. I asked UK based author Liz Fielding about Writing Emotion, but she came with Giveaways!
When I gave a talk to fellow writers about humour and emotion at the Caerleon conference of the RNA last year, I touched on the subject of the Method. That technique used by actors to create within themselves the emotion felt by their characters.
I went to drama lessons when I was young (my earliest ambition was to be a classical actress) but while I wasn’t taught this technique to bring out emotion in my performance, I had read about it. Not in Stanislavsky’s book xxxxxx, but in a children’s novel about a young girl whose father was an actor.
I can’t remember the name of the book, or the author, but that moment in the book where the heroine, stepping into the breach to save the day, realises that she can use her own feelings to bring a character to life has stayed with me across the decades.
Talking to eighty or so authors and editors last year, I was able to reduce them to tears with the memories that come to me in the dark moment, in the happy moments. Simple childhood memories. Precious moments. Moments of crushing sadness. Memories of place. The memories that make me who I am.
I called on them throughout the writing of The Last Woman He’d Ever Date, especially of place. The island, the aviaries, the river are all real to me, places I played in as child, took my own family to visit. The meadows, the house where
Memories are your own personal dictionary of emotions and when, as a writer, you’re hunting down the words to portray a feeling, you can, like the method actor, reach deep into your own experience conjure up a moment when you felt just that sense of joy, of loss, of closeness.
THE LAST WOMAN HE'D EVER DATE
Most wary of: Gorgeous men who set her heart racing. (Been there, got the T-shirt—and the baby!)
Hal North: Bad boy made good. Back in his hometown as new owner of the Cranbrook Park estate. Determined to put his troubled past behind him.
Most wary of: Journalists—especially pretty ones, like new neighbor and tenant Claire Thackeray.
Eloping With Emmy
Hot shot legal eagle, Tom Brodie, has been landed with an assignment to test any man to his limits - do whatever it takes to prevent headstrong heiress Emerald Carlisle from marrying a fortune-hunter. He is not happy about it, and when Emmy stows away in his car, his day goes from bad to worse, but since she's the only one who knows where to find the man in question he has no choice but take her along for the ride.
It's a bumpy one!
Emmy is not a woman to sit back and let things fall as they will. She has a plan and she keeps Brodie on his toes in a rollercoaster chase across the UK and France. He's more than up to the challenge, but falling in love with Emmy along the way is always going to end with his heart in pieces.
Liz Fielding’sLittle Book of Writing Romance
I know how that feels, I’ve been there and I have written the book I wish I’d had when I was starting out.
My purpose is to explain, in the simplest terms — no jargon! — and using examples from my own work, how to make the transition from the story in your head to words on paper. How to write a compelling opening, deepen conflict, write honest emotion, hopefully with a touch of humour to leaven the mix. How to write crisp dialogue, develop the romance, add a little sizzle.
It will be useful to anyone who wants to write popular fiction but, before we get down to the nitty-gritty, I’d like to say a few words about romantic fiction in particular. Why readers love it and come back for more.