How To Write With More Emotion – Three Steps

Do you cry? Silly question I know, but it’s important. Instead of wearing your heart ‘on your sleeve’, you’ll be wearing it on your fingertips. To write with more emotion (heart) is a special skill the greatest poets chase after every day. After all, writing is many things to many people in many situations.


When it is read, it is a conveyance.


It is (or can be) a catharsis.


Done well, it is a journey for both reader and writer.


If I had to break down How to write with more emotion into a couple of steps, I’d probably pick three simple ones. Three is a magical number.  It is the number of witches and magic, but that’s another post.


  • Listen to yourself
  • Listen to the world
  • Embrace the space between words





As I’ve said in several posts before, your voice is the most important thing in a story. Your heart is what is behind that voice. Personally, I believe my writing took a huge turn when I started going to therapy. I learned this stuff called Mindfulness. 


It changed the way I viewed the world.


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Suddenly, I became more attentive to how my mind and heart interacted with the world. It’s through this incredible introspection that I learned how to become more in touch with my feelings.  I learned to listen to my own feelings.  As a writer, I suggest you take the time and look at mindfulness training or consider meditation.  Not only did it help me be a better writer, I learned how to be a better person.  There are reactions we have that we blame the world on and feelings that spring from a well we don’t even know exists.  The training and therapy helped me see this internal chemistry as it happened.  I realized something profound.


If I felt more, I could surely explain more.




To any person, the world is tangible on the surface. I’ll use an analogy to further describe the transmutation of feeling and thought from your heart to words.


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Imagine, an average person with an average demeanor and no real eye for creativity looking at Michael Angelo’s David. Perhaps they run their hands along its form. Then, you ask them to describe it.


You may, or may not get words like smooth, cold, hard, etc. These words ultimately are only descriptors of the surface of the statue. There’s no depth to what they convey. The statue is not an expression of the heart and neither are their words.  Sure, with help we can


Now, imagine a blind man who used to be an art critic (before going blind) running his/her hands along the same statue. Now the statue has soft curves, an indelible warmth expressed through form, hopeful strength, etc.



The description is more about how it makes the descriptor feel while simultaneously describing the physical form of the statue.


This is the essence of how to write with more emotion.


Cormack McCarthy wrote an entire post-apocalyptic novel with heart-based descriptors. There’s a reason a Pulitzer got thrown at him. Especially if you consider style vs. context.


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But, writing with heart doesn’t mean that you should spend hours mulling over the best way to convey the emotional impact of a lampshade sitting behind your character while they discuss a murder plot.

The words used are important.  You’re an author, writer, blogger.  Of course they are.  No need to face-palm yourself with what I just wrote.  Go beyond the adverb heavy world of teenage writing and think a little bit deeper.  Writing has an ebb and flow to the pace.

Part of the art of writing is finding the moments that need expansion.



It means you should take the time to feel the world around you and realize the bumps it creates in your own psyche are the same bumps you should write down when trying to show the world to another person.


We read to be taken away, to experience a world or situation from the minds of others. It’s the connection we have to hearts of a real (or imaginary) person that make the bond and story better.  So find the moments that need expansion and expand them.  Extol the extol-able and move past the irrelevant when pace defines a reality.


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Silly right? It’s like someone telling you to read between the lines.  Well, I feel like this is the author version of the same statement.  We have to look at the thought and emotion we are trying to provoke and give the reader time to feel it.


We can’t bring them to a place and then switch gears so fast that the savory moment of glee over a villains death passes before it happens. The places where emotions are strongest in a reader are moments of resolution.


Resolution does not have to be kind.


The story can resolve without the reader being happy.  The sense of loss is profound and heart breaking.  Remember, conflict is what breeds interest. The greater the conflict, the faster the percieved pace of the book is.  Once we bring the audience to a crescendo, we offer resolve and feed it to them in a pronounced and pragmatic method.


Don’t let your reader off nicely.  The end of a chapter is a great place to allow time to think.  Use the tools available and expand time within the scope of the moment and offer the reader more of that time to feel.




Typing is easy, writing is hard.  Use all the resources available to help you write and search everywhere for feeling.



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