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How This Will Help Your Story

We read for many reasons, but I’d argue that one of the top reasons we read is to feel.

We want to care about characters. We want to connect with (or at least empathize with) their struggles, triumphs, and all the undercurrents of subtler emotions. In essence, we want them to feel human to us.

So, as writers, we need to get good at layering emotion into our narrative. 

The problem is writers often get too cerebral about emotions by thinking about what the emotion should feel like, rather than tapping into the bodily experience of that emotion. This can lead to writing that stays on the surface (think: “She was angry”), or cliché (think: “pounding heart” or “butterflies in her stomach”), or writing that simply lacks vibrancy and resonance. 

Part of the challenge, according to emotion-researcher Brene Brown, is that many people don’t have a full lexicon for their emotional experiences. Instead they believe they’re privy to only the sad-glad-mad trio.

But there’s so much more than three emotions. In her recent book Atlas of the Heart, Brene Brown defines over 80 emotions. That’s a lot of emotion — which means your characters shouldn’t stay on the emotional surface (sad-glad-mad) if you want your story to resonate with your reader. 

This workbook will help you explore the vast range of emotion and ultimately assist you in writing more authentic emotional experiences.

Happy exploring and happy writing,