CREATING EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE READER AND YOUR CHARACTERS
Creating emotional connections between the reader and your characters is one of the most important parts of storytelling. Have you ever read a novel where you have connected with the character on an unbelievable level that they almost feel like your family?
That is because the author took the time to really flesh them out, make them human, and allowed you the chance to get to know them as you would a real person.
In this article, we are going to discuss how you can do that, and make your characters memorable through emotional connections.
Check it out below:
WHAT IS EMOTIONAL CONNECTION?
An emotional connection is a bundle of subjective feelings that come together to form a bond between two people, or in this case, the reader and the characters.
Writing a novel isn’t just about the story, it’s mainly about people; you, the author, your characters, and the reader, so it’s important that you try to establish an emotional connection.
As with real life, in order to build upon a relationship and make it stronger, an emotional connection needs to be formed. This is beneficial in writing as it makes your reader want more. They become so invested in your characters that they don’t want to see them hurt or sad, or the novel end.
So, how exactly do you do this?
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YOUR READERS ATTENTION:
Start by capturing your reader’s attention. Let’s face it, straight up the reader isn’t going to care about your characters, so you have to make them. Capturing the reader’s attention means that you need to ensure that you keep the story as interesting and driven as possible. This is what is going to carry you over until the reader looks towards your characters.
Ways in which you can do this include:
- Increasing the tension
- Creating conflict
- Immersing them in the world
- Creating interesting surroundings
By doing this, it ensures the reader sticks around until they have the chance to connect with your reader. Don’t worry about being too hard on your characters when it comes to tension and conflict, there is plenty of it in the real world and we all face it each day.
BUILD UPON EMPATHY:
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Have you ever felt sad when a family member was crying? Have you ever been happy when a friend is jumping for joy? This is empathy, and it’s a great way to establish a connection between your characters and the reader.
But what about the reader’s attention? That doesn’t ensure that your reader will establish an emotional connection with your characters. I have read plenty of novels where the story is exciting and full of tension and climactic episodes, but the characters were a complete bore.
It’s important that you focus on building your characters enough so that the reader can find empathy towards them. Ways to do this include:
- MAKE THEM REALISTIC: If you want to create a memorable character then you need to make them realistic. Not everyone in the real world is picture perfect, and neither should your characters be. Make them flawed, relatable, complex, and unique.
- GIVE THEM A HISTORY: Don’t just picture your character’s life starting from the first word of your novel. Flesh them out and make them a real person. We all have a past, good and bad, and so should your characters.
- CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: In life, we grow and we learn as we get older and experience aspects of the world. Your characters should do the same. Make sure that their development is steady and moves at a realistic pace. Have them react to conflicts, disasters, and choices the way real life beings would.
- CREATE CONFLICT AND TENSION: This is the best way to create empathy. It is also something that writers are scared to do. Conflict and tension won’t hurt your story, it will progress it by benefiting your characters and adding some flavour. Have them struggle with self-doubt, weakness, or inner demons. We all have them.
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COMBINE THE TWO TOGETHER:
Now that you have separately established both the reader’s attention and the reader’s empathy, it’s time to combine the two together. You do this by maintaining both as you progress through the story.
A way to ensure that you always have a good balance between the two is to create conflict and tension throughout your novel, have steady character development, and draw out your reader’s empathy by creating realistic character’s that they can relate to.
If you do these things, you shouldn’t have a problem creating an emotional connection between the reader and your characters.
All finished. Let’s chat!
Congrats, fellow writers. Hopefully, now you’ll find it easier to make a connection between your character’s and readers.
Let me know if Creating Emotional Connection Between the Reader and your Character’s treated you well, and if you think there is anything missing that you would like to learn about.
Hit me up in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!