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Monday, April 30, 2007

Emotions – the words you use

Certain words tend to evoke very specific and universal emotional reactions from people.

For example, “jumped” is a rather neutral emotional word. However, “bounded” tends to denote more excited spirits in the person doing the bounding. “Stomping” tends toward anger.

Other examples:

“Protector” triggers a warmer emotional reaction when you read it than “Guardian.”

“She swept the room with a piercing eye.”
Versus
“She swept the room with a piercing glare.”
Versus
“She swept the room with an observant eye.”

Dwight Swain wrote: “Pay attention not just to words as words, but also to the feelings they mirror when people use them.”

When getting into a character’s point of view, utilize specific words to draw out your reader’s emotions. That way, they’ll feel your character’s emotions with more intensity.

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