Writing and Emotion 02/12/2014
I thought about this article and the possible difficulty of getting across in
writing what is very easy to do in person.
Normally when I write, I try to use facts not emotion. I put forth facts in a
logical manner to help people reach analytical realization or decisions.
In my poetry, I've used words to build up emotions to communicate an idea. I
always try to pull people back up in the same poem to give them hope.
In the movies and television, they use harsh fast moving anxiety producing
scene to create emotion. They use sex, drug abuse and needless violence
without reservation. They bare the dirty side of man for the "enjoyment" of
I object to that kind of “entertainment” and stay away almost one hundred
percent of the time.
There are three aspects to Emotion and Writing.
Charged Words and Pictures
This is the most obvious way to create emotions. The creator uses a set of
words and or pictures to build a scene.
By “charged” I mean words or pictures that are likely to cause a “reaction”.
Using profanity can provoke reactions such as the use of the name of a
female dog addressed to a woman.
A simple thing to demonstrate is the feeling of grief.
Let us say there is a dog who is the hero in the movie. Everything is going
great. The dog rescues the girl and then the dog gets sick.
You will see the picture of this “sad” looking “tired” dog usually laying down.
The movie often stretch this type scenery out for a bit time to milk the
sadness. Then the dog dies or is killed in some way. Everyone feels sad or
feels the loss. That is grief.
Another one is the creepy music, dim lighting, strange noises, a sudden slash
and the dog walks in through the doggy door. If you were tracking you might
have felt the potential anxiety of an up coming bit of violence. That could be
described as mild fear.
News media uses ugly images showing death and suffering seeking an
emotional reaction. Media doesn't want a thinking or analytical response.
New media even fakes the news to direct hostility towards various groups or
subjects. This is called false flag. The media is completely untrustworthy.
Governments actually commit the crimes and blame it on others. This is used
as an excuse to attack someone or some country. In the USA, false flags are
used to subvert Constitutional rights such as shootings as a way to attack the
Second Amendment. But I stray from the subject though this is emotional for
Speed and Direction of Motion
This one is a little more difficult to explain in words but it can be done.
Get the idea of standing watching a fire and it explodes. In slow motion, you
can see there is a violent huge number of particles rushing at you. That can
Or how about: you're in a deep narrow canyon, you hear thunder and see
lightening. Heavy drops of rain start pouring on you!
Suddenly, you hear a rumble and see splashes coming down the canyon, you
start running.... fear.
A good author can write about the charge of the enemy in over whelming
number towards the beloved hero and evoke fear in the reader for the hero.
I have no desire to pull anyone down to fear to demonstrate though it would
be simple. You would forgive me but that little fear doesn't vanish without
proper assistance. Forgotten, "gotten over" or "put behind" is not handled.
That picture of fear still exist and can exert force on you even though you
Pulling someone down the emotional tone scale is harmful to mental and
physical health. I try not to do so.
If you want to read a story where I did this. Read War Mongers and Amanda. I
did employ loss and grief in that story.
The Author's Intention.
This one is most difficult to explain.
When I write I seek to leave the reader better informed than when they started
reading. I want them more at cause over their life.
I do not seek to shock or frighten.
An author that uses a title “Shocking Study....” is seeking an emotional
I don't care what they are trying to do or communicate, the title sets the stage
for a less than alert reader. If I shock you, you will not think as clearly as you
would without the shock.
The newspapers and main stream media seek to shock you over and over.
What is front page news? One big shocking set of pictures and titles.
The media thinks violence, shock, drugs, death, suffering, disaster,
perversion etc sells copies.
Many authors try to tell you what to think and make you wrong for what you
think or believe. Can you recall a time you were made wrong? Did that upset
a little? How clear was your thinking during or right after that upset?
Upsets, being made wrong, interfere with clear thinking.
Emotions in humanity go from enthusiasm down to cheerfulness,
conservatism, boredom, antagonism and down.
Antagonism is the make/break point of sanity. It is the point where thinking
can be reactive or analytical. If you go up the emotional tone scale, the
thinking becomes more analytical.
As you go down emotionally from antagonism, analytical thinking rapidly
vanishes until there is no thinking only reaction. Unthinking reaction is insanity.
So the author's intention and communication can create positive emotional
response and survival. The author can assist analytical thinking with clear
facts without grossly ugly added information.
An author's intention can create non-survival emotional reactions. Just
imagine the author smiling as he stabs you in the back. That is what some do
with the pen.
Side note: There are some things I will not relay as the overall effect
strikes me negative. I reserve the right not to relay content that I feel lacks
sufficient survival value. This is totally a matter of my opinion and I'm not
willing to be made wrong over my choices of what to relay.
Who Has the Right to INSULT You?
Bad News, How To Handle
Emotional Tone Scale.
Do you have suggestions for a “How To” article? Let me know :-)
Listen and Guide, Someone to.
©2006-2014 Carl Watts www.carlwattsartist.com 021214 110114