Anne Greene here. Today we’re discussing character emotions.
All characters have unique histories and childhoods. Events that occur in a person’s childhood shape the characters background giving them assumptions about life. The events occurring in late adolescence shape the character’s identity.
That’s why a complete background history is necessary for a rounded character.
To create a believable character the traits, emotions, and responses must be consistent. In an earlier lesson, we went into the different personality types. For a refresher feel free to reread those lessons.
Each personality type shows emotion in his own unique way. Today, we want to explore some ways to SHOW the character’s emotion rather than the much easier telling of a character’s emotions.
We are exploring ANGER in this lesson.
There are so many levels to ANGER that the writer often finds ANGER difficult to show. Too often the writer shows only the extremes of ANGER. Yet anger sometimes simmers, boils, or is mixed with other emotions. It leaves the character shaken or exhausted.
When you feel angry, note how often the anger returns and to what degree you experience anger. Write down your reactions to use in your novel. How would you write frustration, annoyance and irritation, all different forms of anger?
Sometimes the character is merely piqued. The character might mutter or roll his eyes. Sometimes anger is shown with sarcasm. Sometimes anger is shown with The Silent Treatment.
The writer can SHOW anger through another character’s dialogue. “I’ve only seen that scowl on your face when you were mad enough to kill. Take it easy, guy.”
Use inner monologue to show anger. She could date that guy for eternity. He wouldn’t care. So what, her date’s taller and has more money. He didn’t care. He wouldn’t walk over and smack that snake in the face. He wouldn’t. No matter how she smiled at that jerk, He wouldn’t.
Use action to show anger. As he jerked to his feet, his chair hit the floor. He slammed his fist into the wall.
Use dialogue. “He’s indestructible. A stake through the heart couldn’t kill him. But he’ll pay. I’ll make him pay.”
Just as anger is not always yelling, there are layers to build on. Anger might start as irritation and build to temper and then to wrath and perhaps to murder. On the descending side, anger might dissipate to bitterness, and then to hard feelings, and perhaps in a Christian novel to forgiveness.
Try to use fresh imagery to convey anger. Things you as a writer have experienced, then your characters become real. Be unpredictable in your writing. Surprise the reader showing anger in a new way.
How do you like to portray anger in your writing? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of A TEXAS CHRISTMAS MYSTERY in time for Christmas.
ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. Her second novel, a Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage, won the New England Reader Choice award, the Laurel Wreath Award, and the Heart of Excellence Award. The sequel Marriage By Arrangement released November, 2013. A Texas Christmas Mystery also won awards. She makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. View Anne’s travel pictures and art work at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com. Anne’s highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Buy Anne’s books at http://www.PelicanBookGroup.com. Or at http://www.Amazon.com. Visit http://www.anneswritingupdates.blogspot.com for information on writing an award-winning novel. Talk with Anne on twitter at @TheAnneGreene. Visit Anne’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/AnneWGreeneAuthor.