Emotional Core


I’m having difficulty with Julia’s reaction in one scene. No way that she reacts feels right. I’m following her emotions, but lose her feelings about halfway through the scene. She’s up. She’s down. She’s angry. She feels pity. I fizzle.

Generally, when I write, I follow the emotions of my characters to make sure their actions are in-character. Building anger leads to a blow up. Shame and embarrassment leads to obfuscation.

But since I keel losing that thread with this scene, I’m not sure what to do. The obvious answer is to simplify the emotions, get rid of some of the conflicting ones…but that’s part of the point of the scene.

What do you do when you aren’t sure how your character should or would react to a given situation?



4 thoughts on “Emotional Core

  1. bethfinke

    Well, I don’t write fiction, but maybe you could give up on the “should” and “would” here and just let your character react?

  2. Usually I sit them down and talk it over in a manner of speaking. Not literally. But I try to get closer to them to understand what is going on.
    Perhaps it’s not a bad thing that there is a lot of conflicting emotions … Maybe if you have her reflect on how illogical it is or how many different things she feels and how messy it is?

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