Friday, June 24, 2016

Emotions in Reading and Writing

Welcome back to our monthly group blog. The topic this month is How emotionally involved are you in reading or writing some scenes?
As usual Rhobin picked a great topic and it is about “some scenes”. When I‘m writing many of the scenes are character development, plot, dialogue and description. I research and try to get inside my characters. Most of the time I feel involved, but there are times, if I’m writing well a scene can bring me to tears. If I cry while writing, I know I’ve written the best scene possible.

Here’s an excerpt from a book I’m working on called Sixteenth anniversary. I felt her fear and terror while I was writing it.

It was a good day for murder.

He strode into the diner, rifle in each hand and opened fire.

A smile curled his lips as people fell to the floor and blood spattered across tables and walls.

Mary Lou Hennessey heard the shots as she emerged from the woman’s restroom, two-year old Travis clutching her hand.

Her husband Clint came out of the men’s room at the same time, with their older son, five year old Clint Junior.

“It sounds like shots in the diner.” Mary Lou whispered.

Clint nodded and held his finger to his lips. “Take Clint and sneak out of the exit door.

He pointed to the door at the end of the hall and pushed Junior’s hand into hers.

She opened her mouth.

Clint shook his head. “Do what I ask. I’m going to check it out. I might be able to help.” He pulled his 45 automatic from his belt at the back of his jeans.

“Clint, don’t go, please.” She whispered.

“Go, quick and get as far away as possible, then call the sheriff.  Now go. I’ll be fine.”

Mary Lou hesitated. The shots had stopped.

Terror clutched at her throat, her pulse raced, tears threatened.  She wanted Clint to grab her and both run. She hesitated. Clint was at the diner’s door.

He motioned her to go and blew her a kiss.

Mary Lou clutched Clint Junior’s hand and raced to the exit door, praying it wasn’t alarmed. She pushed it open.

No alarm sounded.

She chewed her lip, a few tears trickled down. She glanced over her shoulder. Clint shoved open the door. He held his gun out in front.

“Well, well, look who’s here. Come on in boy and join the party.”

Mary Lou raced outside, into the warm Alabama evening, dragging both her boys with her.


“Quiet, both of you keep running beside me.” She raced across the unused parking lot, past a rusted out nineteen-ninety Ford, through an overgrowth of weeds and up a short slope into the carwash next door. It had closed at five o’clock. She ran inside and hid behind the brushes.

With one boy on each side, she clutched them against her. It was quiet. No shots. No sounds of anyone leaving the diner. No cars driving away.  She swallowed hard, trying to stop the tears. Terror enveloped her, but she d needed to hold it together for the boys.  She pulled out her cell phone and dialed 911.

Reading works the same way. I can read a book, get involved with the characters and enjoy the story. If it makes me laugh, has me holding my breath or maybe brings me to tears then I am deeply involved. Even I in books by JD Robb, when Rourke is making love to Eve, I sigh and melt.

I’m looking forward to hearing what the other members of the group have to say and maybe share their examples.  Check them out.


  1. Beverley, that's a great scene. I REALLY want to know how it turns out!
    Yes, you were there as you were writing it, and took me with you.

    1. Thanks, Bob. I was hoping it would pull the reader in.

  2. I agree with Dr. Bob, great scene, particularly felt true for our gun-slinging U.S., and for any parent.

  3. Scenes like this have me reading faster and faster, turning pages so I can find out how it's going to finish unfolding because the author as totally drawn me into the action and the emotion.

  4. Thanks Skye. That's what it's supposed to do. :)

  5. Beverly, action plus emotion = a page turner.

  6. Beverly, action plus emotion = a page turner.

  7. I'm with Skye, I'd probably turn to the end to see who was still standing and then go back to experience it. Scary stuff, anne stenhouse