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I started writing a story sometime ago, and I wrote all I could think of. I did a good job as per my imagination served me. I couldn't complete the story because I planned to go the magic and fantasy route but after I reviewed the incomplete story on my break, I noticed it was on the sci-fi fantasy route.

Though it's not a problem, I found out that my character's mood was way too much hard to determine through reading, like if he was happy or sad or excited or any other feelings. It may have been because I was in a single mood though out the whole writing process, but I wanted to express the character's feeling a bit more. I want it to be expressive.

It's a one-sided story so I don't want to over-exaggerate the shown feelings. I want the atmosphere to be consistent but the character's internal feelings to be shown a bit more expressively. I tried using "I was happy because of ..." or "I was sad because of..." but reviewing the story felt more like an essay more than a story.

How can I make the character show his feelings more and not have too much of it? any ideas are appreciated.

2 Answers 2

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What do you do when you're happy? Excited? Sad? Lonely?

Do you get in touch with friends and suggest something fun to do when you're happy, and decline invitations when you're sad? Have you noticed that your friends use longer or shorter sentences according to their mood? That people smile, laugh, tell you their plans when they're happy and sigh, frown, and don't talk about the future so much when they're sad?

Observe. Observe yourself and those around you. Heck, observe people in movies and on tv. Then make your character do the things that indicate a particular mood. Do not say "I was happy" just describe what the person does. Consider then asking someone to read the paragraphs and tell you the mood you're describing.

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When you read a book or story, how does the author let you know how the characters feel? Emulate that.

Usually a combination of:

  • telling ("I felt glad when...")
  • showing ("The kids jumped up and down impatiently.")
  • describing ("Her face lit up with joy.")

What and how much of it you use will depend on your style, the genre, and the effect you want to achieve.

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