Emotions. They are the key to my characters. As I said in the Great Blogging Experiment post, I always start with the emotions of my characters and build out from there.
The same is true when I read – I’m always looking for the emotional hook.
I don’t know, maybe it’s what I do for my day job…or the fact that I am so emotionally intense myself. Either way, emotions are a central part of a story for me.
But how do you hook the reader emotionally?
I think it all comes down to caring about the characters and what they are experiencing.
I’m going to use one of my fav movies as a great example of creating an emotional hook right at the beginning….
Yeah, I know I know….I am a Trekkie at heart. But seriously, Look at the beginning of the recent version of this movie. Kirk’s father is placed in the ultimate emotional scenario, sacrificing himself in order to save his wife and newborn. We don’t know these characters for more than a minute or so before our hearts break for them.
The writers tapped in on a common human emotion – loss of a loved one – and delivered an opening that hooked us.
The same needs to be done in our stories.
For me, I map out the emotional arc of a story much as I do the character and plot arcs. I want to pull the reader in and keep them emotionally invested throughout the story –
In short, I really want them to care.
I don’t know that I always achieve this goal…but I do know I always try!
What about you guys? Do you look at the emotional hook in your stories? How important is it to you?