Sunday, April 21, 2013

CONFERENCE 2013: Tamra Tuller, "Crying Out Loud: Heightening Emotion in Your Novel"

Chronicle Books' Tamra Tuller addresses the banshee in the backs of our minds, waiting for its time to wail in the pages we write:


um, er, (inner voice drops to a whisper). . . emotion.

What she shared:

*It's difficult to bring a high level of emotional complexity to your text.

*Understand your character's motivations, what makes them tick. Can't say it enough: Know your character!

*Be specific! Authenticity in a character's emotion comes from specificity.

*Subtext: You can read what isn't there. We've all heard this before, but it applies even more in writing emotion: Silence sometimes speaks louder than words.

Examples of texts where authors successfully deal with emotion in a variety of ways:
Markus Zusak's Book Thief
Katherine Erskine's Mockingbird
John Green/David Levithan's Will Grayson, Will Grayson

*Pick and choose the right moments to harness your character's emotion. Be judicious.

*We bring our own emotional baggage to the reading as well as the writing experience.

*Do your best to avoid cliches as you attempt to create high levels of emotion.

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