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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Getting Summer Write - More on Emotion.. Contest continues

When I began thinking about Bunking Down with the Boss, I knew I wanted to write a story that had more depth and emotion than any other book I'd written to date. Granted, my westerns have a good deal of emotion. There's more time and more pages to get into the character's heads. The westerns have a bit more humor in them at times, but they are deeply rooted in conflict as well.

I'd like to think that Bunking Down has both, a deeply-rooted conflict and some sassy humor. I know I always enjoy a book that can grip your heart tight and still make you smile.

A writer knows they've done their job, when they have evoked emotions in their readers. Here's what reviewers have said:

I was drawn into the story and I felt the grief and tears came easily. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see if these two people could find love at the end of this story. Helen Slifer Writers Unlimited Reviewer

Bunking Down with the Boss is one of those stories that will tug at your emotions. Charlene Sands shows us that taking a chance on love is always difficult. Both Caroline and Sam are dealing with issues that make taking that chance even more difficult. Loveable and realistic characters, you can't help but root for them to be true to their hearts and take that chance. Debby Guyette-Cataromance Reviews

The emotionally charged scenes and torrid lovemaking will pull you in and make this story on to savor and enjoy. Patti Fischer - Romance Reviews Today

When I received these reviews as well as some nice fan mail, I knew I'd hit my mark. The subject matter of this book automatically pulls you in. Sam Beaumont is a handsome, sexy CEO, who lost his wife and child in an accident that he feels responsible for. The guilt eats at him daily. He hates the man he's become and leaves his company behind, not to find peace. Sam doesn't think he deserves peace, but to remain "dead" inside. He drifts from place to place, keeping annonymous, taking on odd jobs and trying not to "feel" anything but the death of his soul. Then he meets Caroline -- and their lives become entwined. Their first encounter leaves him cold, and he figures he can accept a job from the widowed woman -- there's no chance of him feeling anything for her. Caroline has trust issues. She's wary of men, after a disatrous marriage to a man who abandoned her and their small child and destroying her family business. But even though we never see Caroline's young daughter, Annabelle in the story, her presence is felt - the child is visiting her grandparents for the month - convincing Sam that he's not the man for Caroline. He's failed over and over at fatherhood. Put those elements together along with magical, sizzling chemisty between the two and you have a story that can't help evoke emotion.

Humor is also a great way to evoke emotion. Sometimes, it's slapstick with falls and crazy scenarios, like in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series and sometimes it's done with witty dialogue. Sometimes, the circumstances themselves, lend to humor. Some authors don't do any humor at all. It's not their style and that's okay. They have a more dramatic side to their writing. And for some authors, like Maureen Child, the humor automatically comes out. She's witty and funny in real life and it's reflected in her writing style.

If you want to evoke real emotion in the reader and make them care you must tap into genuine feelings that make your reader identify. Here are a few examples from author Cheryl St. John that provoke immediate reactions:

animals of any type
orphans
abused women
abused children
underdogs
step-mothers
step-fathers
mental imbalances
babies
strangers
money or lack of money
uniforms

The last Susan Mallery story I read tapped into:

uniforms (military man)
underdog (heroine)
babies
strangers
money
lack of money

Bunking Down tapped into these feelings:
babies
strangers
lack of money
money
underdog
animals

What are you reading or writing that taps into those above feelings?

The Blog Contest Continues!
Check back on Friday to see if you've won from my random drawing.

3 comments:

CherylStJ said...

One of my favorite quotes is fron techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain:

"A story is feelings."

Charlene Sands said...

Yep - I like that quote. It seems the more I write, the more experienced I get in putting those feelings onto the pages of the story without being melodramatic.
:)

catslady said...

I'm currently reading Lisey's Story by Stephen King. Mental imbalance is the only (so far) one of the same emotions that you mentioned along with fear and loneliness.