Monday, March 26, 2012

Your Character Made Me Cry




Well, maybe not.

I just said that so you'd feel good.  Frankly, I think the woman in the above photo is faking it, too.

What's that?  My characters didn't make you cry either?

Ouch, that hurt!

But wait a minute- do we really have to make our readers feel emotion?  Maybe that's not as important as it used to be.

Maybe.

But let me ask you- could you do it if you had to?  Could you make your readers cry?

17 comments:

Travis Cody said...

I wrote a character death and it choked me up. Does that count?

Rick said...

Well, sort of... :)

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I like writing funny stories, so no, I doubt that any of my characters would make people cry. I used to read a lot of Nicholas Sparks' books, though; they always made me cry, to the point that I became less interested in reading them because I wanted to be able to laugh while reading a good book too.

oceangirl said...

I can't remember the last time I cried over a book I read. But I cried sometimes commenting at blog posts. When reading a book, I do want to be moved, so it is important.

Rick said...

Hi, N.A.!

If a character can make you laugh or cry, the writer is doing their job!

I'll bet you've made a few readers laugh in their time.

Rick said...

Wow, Ocean Girl! I never thought about a blog comment making people cry. Then again, blogging is writing, right?

Bonnee Crawford said...

I've been told I've done it before, and that was when I was like 14... a few years later, I hope I can do it even better now if I wanted to... if I had to. But there's always room for improvement, of course, and no one can nail it every single time.

Annalisa Crawford said...

A couple of characters in my WIP make me cry, but I'm not sure about anyone else!

I'm not sure I like fiction that makes me cry - it's hard to carry on reading through tears, which means the sad bits last even longer!

I cried at The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - even though I knew what was coming - and refuse to watch the film because of it!

Rick said...

Impressive, Bonnee! (and I'll bet you'll improve with each passing year)

Rick said...

Hello, Annalisa (what a pretty name, by the way).

Don't forget the tears smear the words on the page.f With a Kindle or Nook, you could short them out by crying over them. Then they would catch on fire and, well, it just sounds dangerous!

How about breathtaking? When a character literally takes your breath away. But wait, that could be dangerous, too. Oxygen deprivation is serious business...

Charles Gramlich said...

If a character of mine makes just one person cry, the story will have been worth it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I felt bad when several readers told me my first book made them cry, but I guess that was the point!

Rick said...

I'm with you on that, Charles. If we can't generate emotions in our readers, it's time to send them to another writer.

Rick said...

And it's further proof you're a pro, Alex.

ysabetwordsmith said...

My readers frequently say that a poem of mine has made them cry; sometimes happy, sometimes sad. Occasionally I include warnings on poems that deal with really intense subjects like rape or domestic abuse, because I know my writing is high-impact in general. Among the factors include touching on some things I expect my audience to have experienced, creating complex characters that people care enough about to request repeatedly, and describing emotions in terms of sensations and actions rather than just feeling-words.

Among the most emotionally intense writing I do is the series Path of the Paladins, beginning with "Shine On" if you wish to see an example:
http://ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com/1783954.html

Rick said...

Hi ysabetwordsmith! (now that's a long name)

I'm glad you stopped by. I head over and check out your link.

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