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Emotion for Writers

  • 13Steps
Everyone who has completed all steps in the program will get a badge.


What is emotion? Emotion starts with basic feelings--those bodily sensations indicating that an experience is pleasant or unpleasant. Our feelings are mostly relatively simple--a little bit of discomfort, perhaps, or a comfortable feeling when enjoying a moment of peace and quiet. These simple sensations can sometimes become complicated by other related feelings, with the situation is complex, for example, and there are many ways to feel about it. Perspective-taking is our capacity to imagine an experience (visually, or in other sensorial terms, in ways that produce feelings, thoughts, and emotions). So it's one way we might complicate our feelings. As I define it for narrative theory, emotion happens when our felt responses to an experience become intensified. And intensification can happen when we appraise our situation from other perspectives (including perspectives from different aspects of ourselves and our future selves). How do they feel about me? How do I feel about what I have done? In this way, positive or negative feelings can intensify into emotions like anger or love. This short course offers exercises to help you write for emotional connection. It asks you to slow down and pay attention to the small details of experience because that is how you will engage your readers through narrative empathy: feeling as another. The goal is to involve your reader in co-creating the simple experiences that contribute to the intensification of feeling.

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