Home Forums Fiction Writing Critiques Short Story Critiques A (Kind of) Short Story Open to Beta Reading! :)

This topic contains 22 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  DelightInLife 6 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #33117

    DelightInLife
    @delightinlife
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    @winter-rose

    Thank you for your feedback and for taking the time to read!

    #33118

    DelightInLife
    @delightinlife
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    @ethryndal

    Do you have any tips on how to show Josiah’s anger?

    Like I mentioned in the Writer’s Corner I want Josiah to be a character who has a passionate and fiery spirit, and will act without thinking when he sees injustice. This is a great strength of his, but he needs to learn to use wisdom on how and when to act. He needs to β€œharness” his passion, and learn how to control it instead of it controlling him.

    Since his emotions are a big part of the story, I want to portray them well. I was wondering if you have any tips on how to “show” and not tell how he is feeling?

    Thank you!!

    #33119

    DelightInLife
    @delightinlife
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    @ethryndal @jane-maree @winter-rose

    Also, some feedback I got from Jane Maree was to show more of his emotions rather than his obvious physical reactions. When you said, Jane, in your comment ” I can tell that Josiah is angry because of how he’s acting, but I want to know more like – is he also nervous? – Is this a clear/calm anger or a furious rush that just takes him along for a ride?”

    I really want it to be the latter, as he acts more on impulse. Do you guys have any ideas\examples on how to show this?

    Thank you!

    #33123

    Ethryndal
    @ethryndal
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    @delightinlife Muahahaha—*chokes* Ahem. Please keep in mind that I’m not the most experienced writer, and emotions are one of the things I struggle with, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. But I am reading a book about writing emotions, so here’s what I’ve learned from it so far.

    First of all, writing your own emotions into Josiah wouldn’t hurt. How do you feel when you’re angry? Describe it. What do you do when you’re angry? Describe it. How exactly do you think when you’re angry? Describe it. Putting a little bit of yourself into his reactions might help you round him out a bit.

    Now. There are three ways to bring across emotions, the most common being physical signs. Balling ones hand into a fist. Face reddening. Glowering, glaring, storming, stomping, hitting, kicking, punching, screaming, etc. πŸ™‚ Saying “he was angry” isn’t going to cut it—exactly how angry is he? Slightly irritated to bursting-a-blood-vessel furious—you’ve got to show where he is on that scale. I’d shy away from being too extreme though, because you don’t want him to seem melodramatic.

    The second way is mental signs. How the character’s processing what he’s feeling. Basically, his thoughts as he experience the emotion. For an impulsive person, there’s probably not too much of this. One of Josiah’s problems is that he’s driven primarily on feelings, and doesn’t take the time to think about what he’s doing. So I’d imagine that what’s going on in his brain is very short, choppy, and loaded with overly extreme emotion. This is a sort-of-half-example:

    How dare he say that? Josiah took a step forward, everything else forgotten as his eyes latched onto the person in front of him. Nathaniel was always so smug, so quick to criticize others. Well, now he’d learn. He’d pay for that insult to Lord Rowan’s name.

    The third way to show emotion is internal signs. But these should be used sparring, because of the three categories, internal signs are the most intense. Heart rate, breathing, adrenaline spikes—you get the picture. With these, a little goes a long way, and if used to often, will become overly dramatic and just ridiculous.

    Now. I’m thinking one of the best ways to show that Josiah’s anger isn’t derived from deep rooted bitterness or something is by having it happen FAST and dissipate just as quickly. Don’t have him slowly curl his fingers into a fist and bite his tongue, forcing his voice into a level tone. He needs to explode.

    Did he— Had Nathaniel just— How dare he! Blood surged to Josiah’s face as he whirled. “Take it back!” he demanded, the words exploding from his mouth like lava from a volcano. He whipped out his sword out, jabbing at Nathaniel with the point. “Take it back, now!”

    Aaaand…wow. I think I taught myself something by writing all this out. Thank you for that. πŸ˜‰ I hope this isn’t overwhelming. Just remember, practice makes perfect. You’re probably not going to get all of this in one day. Even I barely understand it, and I just wrote a huge thing about it. But the more you try, the better you’ll get.

    You got this. πŸ™‚

    (And I think I’m going to tag @kate-flournoy just so someone can make sure I’m on the right track here and not steering you in a completely wrong direction. πŸ˜› )

    TheSarcasticElf.wordpress.com

    #33142

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
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    @ethryndal child… seriously. Have some confidence in your own abilities. πŸ˜› You explained that very well and I totally agree. Great points. I think you taught me something there. πŸ˜‰ Or at least put something I’d only felt into words.

    INFP. As weird as you think I am, and then some. https://kateeverythingwriting.wordpress.com/

    #33154

    DelightInLife
    @delightinlife
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    @ethryndal

    WOW! Thank you so much! I will definitely be thinking about this! Part of it may be hard for me because it is a short story, so every word is important and I feel like I don’t have a lot of space. But portraying emotions is really important (particularly for this short story)

    Thank you again!! πŸ™‚

    See you around!

    #33174

    Ethryndal
    @ethryndal
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    @kate-flournoy *has confidence in abilities* Well that makes me happy.

    @delightinlife Sometimes when I’m writing short stories, I find that it helps to just forget about word limitations and write how you want. Then, when you’re done, you can go back through and carefully weed out any extraneous words or parts. And it might behoove you to ditch the character of Liam, because he really doesn’t further either plot or characters and at the moment, just provides extra words. πŸ˜€

    TheSarcasticElf.wordpress.com

    #33180

    DelightInLife
    @delightinlife
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    @ethryndal

    Thank you! Yes, that’s what I’m thinking too. Yes, I agree. Liam is supposed to be Josiah’s Helper on his Hero’s Journey, but he’s not really that fleshed out, so it would probably be better to cut him. πŸ™‚ Thank you SO much for your help!!

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