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I have an android character who, ever since the near-death experience of his very young childhood, he has lacked emotions of any kind.

But recently, another one of my characters has put forth a very large effort to help my android character gain emotions.

If she were to be successful in this, how should I go about writing my android character now that he has gained emotions for the first time in his memory?

closed as off-topic by Mark Baker, FraEnrico, JP Chapleau, sphennings, Todd Wilcox Feb 26 '18 at 17:47

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Initially he would be confused and overwhelmed. He's experiencing things he's never had to deal with before and has no real base to understand it.

If you've ever seen someone on hormone therapy or a pregnant woman, you'll see how they experience rapid mood swings and can overreact at the littlest things. That would be your character for a little while. If you want to keep it from being over the top, have the initial emotions muted. That will allow the sense of wonder in the android, and still show how strange and intoxicating happiness or anger can be without overwhelming the rest of the plot.

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Emerging emotions can be a wonderful opportunity for a writer, especially if you plot out that it is going to happen before you actually start putting words down on paper.

In such a situation, as you craft the pages which precede the character's emotional awakening, you can restrain your natural descriptive and emotive writing style. You can make the writing factual, sterile and subtly gray. Whenever your pre-emotive character takes on the POV, your writing should reflect his limited understanding of the world, omitting all that he cannot perceive not only through the content of what you write, but also in the very style with which you write his character's view.

Then, once his emotions have been set free, unfetter your own gifts and let the colors, textures and harmonies of life pour out onto the page. Don't tell us that he can suddenly "feel happy". Show us how spectacular the world suddenly appears to his long-shaded eyes.

The best example of this kind of transition comes from film rather than literature. Go watch "The Wizard of Oz" from the beginning and pay attention to the "not-so-subtle" difference between Kansas and Oz. Then go do the same thing within your story.

Keep Writing!

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Maybe the emotions would be present but muted---difficult for the robot to interpret. You could have him act on these emotions without understanding what they are or what they mean. Many people do this anyway.

This way, you might have an easier time staying focused on these characters' actions rather than getting lost in the mechanics of the robot exploring and understanding emotion for the first time.

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