Monday, July 19, 2010

How Does That Make You Feel?

One of the things I like to read and write most are scenes with emotional intensity. You know the ones. Where your heart beats with fear, or anxiety or joy and you are so deep in the character's POV you feel every breath they take as their world crashes down around them - or is resurrected in front of them.

I've been studying books I can't put down to see how my favourite authors do this. I think deep POV helps with the intensity but it's a whole lot more than that. It's about the bone deep conflicts and insecurities the character's have. The most intense books involve characters with a history - old lovers, family drama, treacherous best friends and often some type of betrayal that has been left unresolved.

I like characters who are really intense and scenes that are dramatic. But I worry they can spill easily into melodrama. It's a fine line to walk - or write -  isn't it?

Do you like angst filled books? Revenge, blackmail, passion? Or do you like funny, light hearted books? Or softer books that seem more true to life. Maybe a quieter more realistic depiction of emotion?

10 comments:

Michelle Helliwell said...

I like the books that appear light-hearted but at their root have characters with deep emotion needs, or are complex people who may hide behind a comic face. Mary Balogh can do this well, and Julia Quinn is capable of it as well (not everytime). I don't like angst for angst sake, but I prefer a complexity of character and a simple plot to the reverse - at least when it comes to romance.

Janet said...

I'll read anything - as long as the story and the characters are believable. And you're right, Anne, there's more to it than just deep POV - just wish I could figure it out and apply it to my own writing :)

Kelly Boyce said...

I'm all for the angst and betrayal mixed with humor (light or dark). And I love intense characters with lots of history to deal with. They're fun to read and write.

Cat Schield said...

I love reunion stories for angst. Lots of unresolved issues. Gotta be dark conflict for me with a sheen of funny. Love the serious problems with those bright rays of sunshine.

Anne MacFarlane said...

Michelle, I love Mary Balogh. Susan Elizabeth Phillips does the same thing in contemporary romance. She writes about intense emotions but in a very light and humourous way.

Anne MacFarlane said...

Janet, I wish I could figure it out as well. I think it's what makes a book a page turner.

Anne MacFarlane said...

Kelly, I love to write those scenes. All the rest to me is just filler.

Anne MacFarlane said...

Cat, too much dreary angst is depressing but I aspire to be able to do it with a light hand. And leave the reader feeling optimistic and hopeful for the characters by the end.

Julia Smith said...

I'm an angst all the way, baby. If my heart is crushed to smithereens, all the better. I love melodrama - I personally don't see why it gets such a bad rap.

Anne MacFarlane said...

Julia, I love melodrama and as long as it has a satisfying ending, I'm good.