Arousing feelings

The second most important rule in writing fiction is to arouse the reader’s feelings. This is one of the most difficult and demanding tasks, which you can’t learn from a book, it has to come from your heart. If you can’t feel, the reader won’t be able to feel. I must stress that there has to be a variety of feelings, not just love and hate. Jealousy, envy and greed are also feelings.

Example 1: Jane buys a new gold bracelet and shows it to a friend. The friend looks at it carefully, but doesn’t say anything nice about it even though she likes it. This is how she expresses her envy.

Example 2: The wife would like to have a swimming pool in the garden (greed), while the husband, who is tight with money, doesn’t agree. So they have an argument about it.

Example 3: A book is about Mary and Edward, who are in love, but aren’t destined to get married. Throughout the book the reader can feel their suffering, but their wish isn’t fulfilled until right at the end, when their romance can begin.

Example 4: The successful German writer Heinz G. Konsalik’s main characters on their travels around the world often quite accidentally come across a brother or a sister they didn’t know they had. I’m sure many readers cry over this, although personally I find it too unrealistic. But the fact remains that Konsalik knew that arousing feelings was one of the most important characteristics of a book. And he played on the same strings in nearly every one of his books.

Example 5: The following always works: there has to be a desire and an obstacle to achieving it, which must continue for a considerable part of the book. And right at the end, when all hope is nearly lost, finally a solution is found and the obstacle is removed.

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