76

You don't. To put it in more words: the audience has to get attached to make the death relevant. You want her death to be a wake-up call, a touch of realism and a reminder of what war is. Sure, there is no guarantee that your audience will like the same characters that you like. But if you realize that you've grown fond of that female soldier, if you find ...


33

When I was a kid, I was bullied a lot, and I don't usually see accurate depictions of bullying in the media. The bullying I suffered was mostly verbal, but some was physical. What adults don't really understand about physical bullying is that it's more about physical intimidation than actual fist-to-face contact. A lot of the physical bullying composed ...


31

Honestly, if it's outright impossible to write due to overwhelming emotion, don't write. Wait until after the upset has passed. However, if you're upset, but yearning for creative expression, use that misery. I can't remember how many times I've harnessed depression and melancholy to evoke genuine pathos in my writing. Perhaps I'm approaching it from an ...


30

This is something you need to be careful with. In popular Western culture, going back decades or further, jealousy is often seen as a positive trait. "His jealousy proves he loves me so much." Especially when it's a man jealous of interactions his female partner has with other men. In reality, there's a very thin line between "cute" jealousy and ...


28

I am a discovery writer, I have been for many years, and I complete stories. Scrap your outline. Most discovery writers (including me) have struggled with what you are talking about; finding the climax, resolving the character arcs, dead-end "mysteries" that we could never figure out. The solution to that is simple, but it is NOT outlining. For a ...


25

This is something that I've seen Japanese writers (in Manga/Anime) do especially well. From what I've seen there, I'd say... The key to pulling this off is in how your MC reacts to her jealous feelings. If she gets petty and takes it out on her love interest (as you describe with pouts and annoyance), it may be seen as obnoxious and non-productive by your ...


20

There is a trick for this in The Emotional Craft of Fiction. It's called 'me centered narration.' Essentially, you have the character express at length in narrative (protest too much) what she wants everyone to think about her, in this case the opposite attribute of what she is actually feeling. He came into my room and I quickly wiped my eyes, before ...


19

I DON'T DO IT MUCH, BUT I HAVE FOUND THAT HAND-WRITING IN ALL CAPS IS AN INEXPLICABLY-GOOD WAY TO LASSO A FROTH OF EMOTION WITH YOUR PEN. IT MIGHT FEEL STUPID FOR THE FIRST LINE OR SENTENCE OR PARAGRAPH OR PAGE. DO NOT LET THIS FEELING STOP YOU UNTIL YOU FEEL LIKE WRITING CALMLY. IF I AM RIGHT OR YOU ARE LUCKY, THIS WILL ERECT A SHRINE TO THE VALIDITY OF ...


19

Don't detach yourself emotionally from the character. Rather, experience the character's death as a major part of their arc. This is not a real person who is gone once dead; this is a fictional character, and their entire arc is what makes them who they are. Make the specifics of the death contribute towards making the character even greater, and love the ...


18

One way that I have seen in real life is the combination of self-awareness and levity. It is important that self-awareness happens in the moment. Many people realize too late that they had done something stupid out of jealousy. An example might look like this: How can you just go get coffee with him? What do you mean, him? I get coffee with co-...


17

Writing is where I run to, from everything that upsets me. I read the last scene I've been writing, from the beginning, and by the end - I'm in that moment, I've found my focus, I can proceed from there. Sometimes I channel frustration, anger, pain, disappointment into my writing: the story demands them all. But it is actually easier for me to write those ...


17

TL;DR: * Fear (or equivalent shock) followed by disgust -> horror * disgust alone -> disgust A significant effort in analyzing the concepts of horror, terror and sublime times back to the XIX century. From what I recall, they are connected to a sense of fright and fear, with horror being the disgust felt after a deep a profound scare. That being said, ...


16

You don't detach yourself from the character. On the contrary - you let yourself feel the pain of her death, experience the loss, and you pour all of that onto the page. When a character dies, it should matter. It should be a punch in the gut for your audience. That can only be achieved if you care about the character. If you don't care, if you've detached ...


15

Jealousy isn't, and shouldn't be seen as, a cute trait. Is it human? Understandable? Absolutely. But make no mistake, the possessiveness of your fellow man, no matter how understandable, isn't a 'cute point'. It's a flaw. And that's fine; treat it as a character flaw. There's nothing wrong with this, in fact, generally it gives characters depth. I think it'...


14

As a component of "horror" it has a role to play - and it can be quite effective. On it's own? No. Seeing internal organs up close can as you say invoke a disgust/repulsion response. But context will determine whether we are likely to have a horrified response as well. A dish in an operating theater containing say an appendix that has been removed in an ...


14

Acknowledging that the top answer cautions controlling another person is abuse, and abuse is never cute, I'll try to suggest ways to minimize the issues. Avoid Blame: The lover is not at fault and clearly not doing anything wrong. The protagonist can see this, and trusts the lover, but can't help having emotions about it. (Cue regular intervals with a ...


14

I've noticed something about many books and movies. Just as two characters are getting into a deep conversation, either sharing something important or showing emotion or leaning forward slowly to kiss, a random passerby will walk right between them. It totally throws them off and - you would think - breaks things up. But instead, it actually heightens the ...


13

It is not important, unnecessary, and in fact utterly impossible. You need to put yourself in the character's shoes, imagine how he feels, write that, try to evoke emotions in the reader. It helps if you have ever in your life experienced something similar, so you have a reference point. But writing in that moment? If your character is in excruciating pain, ...


11

One possibility is to write about the things that upset you. My writing career revolved around an interest in Nature, particularly animals. However, when I was an employee of the Seattle School District, I was so stunned by the corruption, bureaucracy and tyranny I saw all around me that it was hard to concentrate on my projects. Then one day, I opened my ...


11

The only way to resolve it is to write. I'm a discovery writer too. I get excitement from just "imagining" how things could go, how the world might be, and how the character should react. Did you notice? I used verbs in conditional form. That's because - no matter what your brain tells you - a story isn't done until you write it. It doesn't matter if you ...


9

How to kill a character you are attached to? ANSWER: Write a few alternate versions of the scene--in one the character dies, in others the character does not die (coma, loss of limbs, etc). Then get on with the story. After you've written more story, with the anaesthetic of knowing you have versions of "that scene" in which the character does not die, you'...


9

Why this is difficult. Jealousy is a natural trait, nearly everyone that falls in love is subject to it at some time. The reason is that the extremely high emotional value of the love interest creates all sorts of effects. Obsessive thinking about them, extreme focus on minor clues of behavior or particular words, cravings for constant contact (holding ...


9

This is a question of show vs tell. It's easy to say that he became sad, but if you write it like this it also easly sounds cold and distant. If that's what you intend - good, keep it that way. You can create a more emotional approach if you show his reaction, like I saw his eyes widening as I told him that I would go with her. He mumbled something that ...


8

The heartlessness you describe is "externally facing" -- the actions he takes and the way he interacts with others. That doesn't mean there's no heart at all in there; it just means he doesn't allow it to influence his actions. You can show signs of Bob mourning in his thoughts (if the story is first-person) or in brief private moments. Bob might keep ...


8

My answer is twofold: Ensure that the set-up to the crying is well-established: You want your reader to be able to understand why your character is crying, if you want the scene to be effective. There is an emotional setup to be done, otherwise there will be just a character crying for no clear reason. While it makes sense in some settings (e.g., a ...


8

I used to write movie reviews for my University News Paper and always felt that, if I'm about to give a bad score, I would point to how I would have improved the movie, if I was given the ability to do so. It helps me identify the parts that hurt my head because they were so stupid and challenge me to take the idea trying to be presented, and give credit it ...


8

I think this may be a matter of opinion; different psychologies will answer differently. Personally, my characters feel real to me; but I remind myself of a few things. I go back over what I wrote for her, reminding myself that I invented her, all she really consists of is these words on paper. It is like sketching a person, then burning the sketch. In ...


8

Let's back into what "cute" jealousy would look like. Inspecting the other answers, a common theme is that jealousy is a step towards potential abuse, or it is simply poison to a love-relationship. Jealousy carries undertones of distrust, perhaps even malice. Or, to offer a slight oversimplification, jealousy isn't cute because it's threatening. The ...


8

Your brain is convinced it's done with the first draft, which means it's time to start the second draft on the story cleaning up everything and filling up any missing details as needed. Which is a new task and one that you have to do regardless of how complete the first draft is. Yours just happens to be pretty barebones in the second half, but that's ok, ...


7

I think the best example of this I've encountered is in the book/movie Remains of the Day. The main character is a butler, whose chief trait is total emotional repression. Nevertheless, the author skillfully portrays his emotional state. If my memory serves me, there's one crucial scene where the butler learns that the housekeeper is leaving. His ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible