Why it’s Okay to Cry(alongside your characters)

Why it’s Okay to Cry(along with your Fictional Characters)

Traci Kenworth

Sometimes I admit it, when I get caught up in a scene: a goodbye, a successful

rescue, a happy ending, tears rolls down my cheeks. We’ve all heard of how readers take our characters to heart but do writers do the same? Absolutely. I think it’s a catharsis for spending so much time rooting for those in question.

The good news is: it helps your writing to explode! If we didn’t feel the slightest goosebump raise when the monster appears, or feel each bump of the rocks our favorite hero(at the moment)falls off, I would have to say, we’re not connecting with our creations. That’s important because in order to make the reader care for the cast, you have to care. Don’t just make them jump through hoops.

Pick up that can of bee spray when a psycho killer lurks outside your door, carry the weight of the cross for your heroines, wrap your arms around the hissing cat and try to quiet it as something triggers fear in it. It’s all about the emotion and entangling ourselves in it. Perhaps, if you’re still not experiencing the horror, the pain, the rage, you haven’t gotten to know your them as well as you think you do.

Go back and review your notes, try and make them more personable. It’ll pay off in the long run, I promise. Then, only then, proceed. Take that last shot with your pistol when you know a monster is bearing down upon you, scout ahead to keep your loved ones safe, tell a story.

People read to lose themselves in the tale, not to become enraptured with your prose. They want a down-deep, knuckle-fisting, romp to get lost in. So give it to them. Make young Bart accidently open that Pandora ’s Box, unaware of what trouble he’ll bring about. Penelope stumble into her bedroom to find her husband not alone. Touch a reader’s heart with the problem and you’ll find yourself there, part of the scene, whispering encouragement, biting your nails, wishing for holy water.

You become your characters.

And so the tears drip.

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6 thoughts on “Why it’s Okay to Cry(alongside your characters)

  1. Great post Traci! I’ve had couple stories I’ve teared up over. Whether it’s because I had to kill off a character I loved, or I’ve reached the end of a journey. But if there are tears, that means there’s connection!

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  2. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I choke up, sometimes I just sit and stare at the book in my hand. But whatever the reaction, the most satisfying reads are when I make that emotional connection! Great post!

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  3. Great post Traci. I feel like when you have those moments, that’s when you’re the most connected to your story and your characters! I must admit I don’t cry often in books, but there have been a few places in TQO where I gave myself goosebumps!

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    1. Goosebumps, tears, gross outs, yep, my writing’s put me there. But aren’t those the best moments, when we can dig down and feel fear, sympathy, disgust with our characters? It means we’re doing our best to bring the about to be real to our readers!!

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