That’s what we’re doing, you know.
We use nicer phrasing, when we’re talking about it in writing circles, like “building empathy for our characters” and “upping the tension” and “creating a satisfying emotional experience” for our readers. But when it comes down to it, we’re manipulating their emotions.
And we have to.
People wouldn’t read if there wasn’t some sort of payoff. That emotional experience is why people read.
There are all sorts of different types of emotions we as humans experience, and all sorts of emotional experiences that give us a satisfying journey, and we all have different preferences depending on a variety of factors.
Some of us like to be scared. Some of us like the emotional high of falling in love. Some of us prefer to have a good laugh, or to have a good cry.
And so, it is those emotions we, as writers, try to…
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