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Writing Vivid Emotions: Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors

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Do you want your characters to feel such strong emotions that the readers' scalps prickle, their mouths go dry and their hearts thud like they're sharing the experience? Do you want to convey fear or happiness in ways that make the readers feel heat radiating through their chest or cold sweat trickling down their spine rather than the tired 'he was afraid' or 'she felt ha Do you want your characters to feel such strong emotions that the readers' scalps prickle, their mouths go dry and their hearts thud like they're sharing the experience? Do you want to convey fear or happiness in ways that make the readers feel heat radiating through their chest or cold sweat trickling down their spine rather than the tired 'he was afraid' or 'she felt happy'? Step by step, you'll learn how to express feelings through body language, dialogue, thought, similes, visceral sensations and mood-rich descriptions. The book also guides you through layering emotions and varying their intensity. It shows you how to subtly reveal a character's secret or suppressed emotions. The book also flags mistakes to avoid and reveals tricks used by professional authors. At the end of each chapter, you'll find assignments. If you like, you can use this book as an advanced fiction-writing course. Please note: This book is not suitable for absolute beginners. It assumes that you have mastered the basics of your craft and know how to create characters and write dialogue and are ready to to take your craft skills to the next level. British English.


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Do you want your characters to feel such strong emotions that the readers' scalps prickle, their mouths go dry and their hearts thud like they're sharing the experience? Do you want to convey fear or happiness in ways that make the readers feel heat radiating through their chest or cold sweat trickling down their spine rather than the tired 'he was afraid' or 'she felt ha Do you want your characters to feel such strong emotions that the readers' scalps prickle, their mouths go dry and their hearts thud like they're sharing the experience? Do you want to convey fear or happiness in ways that make the readers feel heat radiating through their chest or cold sweat trickling down their spine rather than the tired 'he was afraid' or 'she felt happy'? Step by step, you'll learn how to express feelings through body language, dialogue, thought, similes, visceral sensations and mood-rich descriptions. The book also guides you through layering emotions and varying their intensity. It shows you how to subtly reveal a character's secret or suppressed emotions. The book also flags mistakes to avoid and reveals tricks used by professional authors. At the end of each chapter, you'll find assignments. If you like, you can use this book as an advanced fiction-writing course. Please note: This book is not suitable for absolute beginners. It assumes that you have mastered the basics of your craft and know how to create characters and write dialogue and are ready to to take your craft skills to the next level. British English.

30 review for Writing Vivid Emotions: Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors

  1. 5 out of 5

    Phillip Stephens

    Hall shows how to tap into life and imagination as well. Trust me, it’ll happen. You just finished a marathon writing session. All you want to do is celebrate or sleep when your significant other accuses you of emotional insensitivity. Before you can defend yourself, s/he says, “How can you write so vividly about emotions and not know anything about mine?” I learned from experience that the correct answer is not, “What do you mean? Every emotion in my novels I wrote after watching you.” (At least, Hall shows how to tap into life and imagination as well. Trust me, it’ll happen. You just finished a marathon writing session. All you want to do is celebrate or sleep when your significant other accuses you of emotional insensitivity. Before you can defend yourself, s/he says, “How can you write so vividly about emotions and not know anything about mine?” I learned from experience that the correct answer is not, “What do you mean? Every emotion in my novels I wrote after watching you.” (At least, not if you want to share the same bed for the next week). From then on you don’t dare write about an emotion that remotely resembles your loved one’s. But if you visit the coffee shop and observe behavior there, s/he’ll ask, “Why are you checking her/him out? Aren’t I good enough for you?” What do you do? Buy Rayne Hall’s Writing Vivid Emotions: Professional Techniques For Fiction Authors. Her book takes writers through an exhaustive, and yet easy to follow series of lessons for adding emotional depth and intensity to your fiction. A horror and adventure writer, Hall edits a number of quality indie anthologies and released the fantasy romance Storm Dancer. Hall wrote Vivid Emotions in clear and straightforward prose, accessible to novice and experienced writers, even those, like me, who studied in graduate school. Her short chapters cover one or two key principles, examples and assignments to guide writers through each step of the process. Topics include using body language to convey emotions (including avoiding novice traps), conveying a character’s feelings through dialogue, phrasing thoughts to deliver the most impact and working with simile and metaphor. She doesn’t stop with depicting emotional clues; she demonstrates how writers can add emotional depth with layering and shading, and by depicting unconscious and suppressed emotions (including denial and deception). Vivid Emotions even serves up tips for novice and experienced writers to manipulate readers’ emotions and draw them into the story. Two to three useful assignments accompany each chapter and include real-life observation, scene prompts, deconstructing scenes you’re writing, Hall ices your cake with a Thesaurus of Body Language Cues as well as Visceral Responses to stimulate your descriptive powers. Need to show readers how the ignorant will react to your wise-cracking hero? Look for body language cues. How will your hero react to the news the ignorant cop wants to arrest him? Hall suggests a number of visceral reactions. I’ve never begrudged Hall the price of her eBooks ($3-$4, although she occasionally offers special discounts). It’s a modest price to include easily accessible topics for me to review when I’m unhappy with a scene. Rating system: 5 = Delicious dialogue, crisp prose, clever characters & compelling plot 4 = Great read, won’t want to stop (Some reviewers rate this 5 stars) 3 = Worth buying (but…) 2 = I will tell you what audience will like this, but other readers might want to look elsewhere 1 = If I review a book this bad I felt seriously compelled to warn you Phillip T. Stephens is the author of Cigerets, Guns & Beer, Raising Hell and the new release Seeing Jesus. You can follow him @stephens_pt.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Fesmire

    Showing character emotions can be tough for writers at all levels.  Beginning writers start with a limited palette for painting emotional states, restricted to things like smiles, frowns, and shrugs. The more we write, the larger that palatte gets, but one can always grow it more. Rayne Hall’s book, Writing Vivid Emotions: Professional Techniques for Writers, will help you do just that. The first 11 chapters cover techniques, from showing body language, to getting readers to feel your characters’ Showing character emotions can be tough for writers at all levels.  Beginning writers start with a limited palette for painting emotional states, restricted to things like smiles, frowns, and shrugs. The more we write, the larger that palatte gets, but one can always grow it more. Rayne Hall’s book, Writing Vivid Emotions: Professional Techniques for Writers, will help you do just that. The first 11 chapters cover techniques, from showing body language, to getting readers to feel your characters’ visceral reactions, to varying emotional intensity, and more. You’ll learn what to show and what not to show, how to play on the reader’s feelings even while the point of view (POV) character is experiencing something different, and even how to foreshadow through subtle emotional cues. Chapter 12 will be a great help when you’re having trouble varying a character’s body language. Titled Chapter 12: Thesaurus of Body Language Cues, it contains an alphabetical list of emotions, and many body language tells for each. Perhaps you wouldn’t have come up with crisp nodding as a way one shows satisfaction, or licking one’s lips as a tell for love, but these may be perfect for how one of your characters would react. Chapter 13: Thesaurus of Visceral Responses, will increase your toolset for showing readers how your POV character is feeling. You may have a confused character, but you’ve had his chest tighten several times already in your book. Check in Chapter 13, and you’ll find that confused people sometimes start to feel hot. Tada! A new clue about how he’s feeling. The book ends with two of Rayne’s short stories. In this way, she demonstrates many of the techniques used in the book. For example, the first story, Druid Stones, shows a cheerful woman going to visit a druid circle. However, environmental details let the reader know that she shouldn’t be feeling excitement, but fear. Keep in mind, this book is intended for intermediate to advanced writers, and beginners may find the techniques too tricky. There are many books out there for new writers. If that’s you, I suggest looking into various Writer’s Digest books. Work on your craft from those awhile, then come back to Rayne’s excellent Writer’s Craft series.

  3. 5 out of 5

    J Aislynn d'Merricksson

    **I purchased this book for my own edification** Writing Vivid Emotions is book 22 in Rayne Hall’s popular Writer's Craft series. Each of these wonderful books focuses on a specific aspect of writing or promotional work. This particular book, as the name says, centres around working with vivid emotions in one’s writing. There are several sections, ranging from body language and visceral sensations to use of dialogue and mood description, that teach you to enhance emotions in a way that flows smoo **I purchased this book for my own edification** Writing Vivid Emotions is book 22 in Rayne Hall’s popular Writer's Craft series. Each of these wonderful books focuses on a specific aspect of writing or promotional work. This particular book, as the name says, centres around working with vivid emotions in one’s writing. There are several sections, ranging from body language and visceral sensations to use of dialogue and mood description, that teach you to enhance emotions in a way that flows smoothly. In concise fashion, Rayne shows you how to layer emotion, to intensify and reduce emotion within a scene, it set of scenes, and give you tips and tricks that professional writers use. She’ll also give examples of things to avoid, and when and where novice writers are likely to make mistakes. I have this entire series, and had the pleasure of beta-reading the most recent. I cannot recommend these books enough. Rayne uses clear, precise language in the most efficient way possible. I appreciate that. I dislike wading through fluff to get the information I need. I also love that each book focuses on a single topic. 📚📚📚📚📚 Recommended for any looking to enhance their writingcraft.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joel Hinrichs

    I want this printed and use it to wallpaper my writer's nook. Lots of these pearls show up in multiple places but that's because peoples' emotions come out complex. Nobody's face or body is an open book, but the author knows (the shadow knows, mwahahahaa) a lot off tricks, thanks to this book, just how to show the reader how much emotion, and to what depth, the character allows to leak out without having to use signal flags or the telegraph. Now excuse me while I run off and edit my manuscript! I want this printed and use it to wallpaper my writer's nook. Lots of these pearls show up in multiple places but that's because peoples' emotions come out complex. Nobody's face or body is an open book, but the author knows (the shadow knows, mwahahahaa) a lot off tricks, thanks to this book, just how to show the reader how much emotion, and to what depth, the character allows to leak out without having to use signal flags or the telegraph. Now excuse me while I run off and edit my manuscript!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kate Downs

    I've read a few from this series now and I didn't find any of them particularly helpful. In fact, some of the advice contradicts what I've heard often from great writers. For example, in one of the books-- maybe this one-- Hall recommends getting colorful with dialog tags, but Stephen King and others give the exact opposite advice in their books on writing. This series doesn't feel particularly well informed. I've read a few from this series now and I didn't find any of them particularly helpful. In fact, some of the advice contradicts what I've heard often from great writers. For example, in one of the books-- maybe this one-- Hall recommends getting colorful with dialog tags, but Stephen King and others give the exact opposite advice in their books on writing. This series doesn't feel particularly well informed.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sue Lilley

    As ever with this series of books, a well thought out and practical guide. Easy to read with lots of examples. The thesaurus was interesting but I’d prefer it in hard copy as a reference guide when writing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Roberts

    In-depth knowledge This is a wonderful, in depth look at real & necessary knowledge for the devoted author. Read & you will grow your writing skills exponentially! I highly recommend it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Traci

    Great companion writing novel. Like other books in this vein, it gives examples of how to make your writing come alive for the readers. I like the author used examples from her own work. Will check out other books by this author.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Brooks

    Excellent Advice and Many Examples to Make Your Writing Sing Concrete advice and hundreds of examples that writers can use to improve their stories. The author shows writers how to avoid amateur mistakes and make their writing more professional.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Zara West

    Another must have book for the aspiring writer. Rayne Hall has the ability to clarify techniques in a way that makes using them in one's writing so much easier. I love the Thesaurus of Body Language Cues at the end. Another must have book for the aspiring writer. Rayne Hall has the ability to clarify techniques in a way that makes using them in one's writing so much easier. I love the Thesaurus of Body Language Cues at the end.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Darina

    Very easy to understand as each point is illustrated with just the right amount of examples. The stories at the end illustrate the combination of all techniques discussed in the book (and are pretty awesome short stories).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Madden

    The best explanation I've ever heard This book was exceptional. The author didn't treat us as if we were ignorant but made each point plain. It has really helped me with editing my novel The best explanation I've ever heard This book was exceptional. The author didn't treat us as if we were ignorant but made each point plain. It has really helped me with editing my novel

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jessica L.

    Things I already knew and she judged you Nope. F this snitch. Apparently my college degree means nothing because I swear and that makes me unintelligent. I don't think so. Bye. Things I already knew and she judged you Nope. F this snitch. Apparently my college degree means nothing because I swear and that makes me unintelligent. I don't think so. Bye.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Preethi Venugopala

    Very helpful.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gin Westcott

    I love all Rayne Hall's books. They help me so much with my novel writing. I love all Rayne Hall's books. They help me so much with my novel writing.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kay Oliver

    Great as always An excellent source of PoV--how to use it, how to use it well, and how not to use it. Another writing bible to add to the growing collection from Hall.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Peggy Miller

    Must read This book is necessary to have for all writers, the information in it is invaluable, and will help you write as an professional writer with great results.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn Huehn

    Love her series!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Roe

    Full of examples. Good resource book full of examples and two chapters of thesaurus. Would recommend to writers wanting to learn about emotions.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Paweenwat Thongprasop

    A concise book with practical techniques for crafting emotions.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    An excellent, short tutorial on how to mix emotional cues into a story more subtly.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    This book offers systematic and useful tips that allow you to describe emotions in a much more powerful way. If you finish reading this book, you are on you way toward becoming a professional writer!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rosetta Yorke

    Great Writing Tips on how to Trigger a Deep Emotional Response in your Readers If you are an author seeking advice on how to manipulate your readers into experiencing a vivid emotional response to your novel, this is the ideal writer’s tool for you. Rayne Hall offers constructive advice on how to use body language and dialogue, similes and descriptive terms to entice your readers into engaging fully with your characters’ emotions. She explains the theory and then gives a series of simple examples, Great Writing Tips on how to Trigger a Deep Emotional Response in your Readers If you are an author seeking advice on how to manipulate your readers into experiencing a vivid emotional response to your novel, this is the ideal writer’s tool for you. Rayne Hall offers constructive advice on how to use body language and dialogue, similes and descriptive terms to entice your readers into engaging fully with your characters’ emotions. She explains the theory and then gives a series of simple examples, followed by practical exercises (often relating to your own novel), in order to help you understand her point, and also warns of the pitfalls that many new writers fall into. She explains how to create an ‘Emotion Description Bank’, and how to use the physical symptoms of emotion to great effect, and includes a series of extra ‘professional’ tips for the advanced writer. Chapter 12 contains a Thesaurus of body language cues and Chapter 13 has one of physical responses, each designed to help you enrich your writing and intensify your readers’ emotional experience. These are so useful, I'll be keeping them both on hand as reference tools for my future writing. My favourite section was Chapter 14, which contains two of Rayne Hall’s short stories – ‘Druid Stones’ and ‘Double Rainbows’. These illustrate all of the author’s earlier advice and are so successful that they had me on the edge of my seat. ‘Writing Vivid Emotions: Professional Techniques For Fiction Authors’ is intended for experienced writers. However, in my personal opinion, Rayne Hall’s explanations are clear and accessible and may be of some use to you even if you do not fall into that advanced category. If you are tempted by the sound of this book, I suggest you download the free sample pages and try them out for yourself. I thoroughly recommend this latest 'Writer's Craft' book as an invaluable writing aid. I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting a review of it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Decent and concise guide.

  25. 5 out of 5

    B. A. AGHA

    Excellent, helpful book with a lot of practical advice and examples.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris Bridges

    The advice is broken into clear suggestions, pro tips and what not to do's. If you work even a few of the exercises and suggestions you will move your craft ahead dramatically. The tools given to you can use many times. I love the clarity and economy of writing. Brilliant examples of how the techniques can work. She gives suggestions of how and why you would want to create a bank of descriptions. I would recommend all of her writer's books for any author wanting to kick it up a notch or do an in-d The advice is broken into clear suggestions, pro tips and what not to do's. If you work even a few of the exercises and suggestions you will move your craft ahead dramatically. The tools given to you can use many times. I love the clarity and economy of writing. Brilliant examples of how the techniques can work. She gives suggestions of how and why you would want to create a bank of descriptions. I would recommend all of her writer's books for any author wanting to kick it up a notch or do an in-depth master class for each skill. One thing that I absolutely love about these books is the down to earth easily actionable exercises. The other great thing about all of these books is they are quick reads with lots of meaty information and no wasted words.

  27. 5 out of 5

    John

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michael C McAtee

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hyzie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tresa Tolley

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