What makes you weep?

Melissa James has a thought-inspiring series of articles on ‘Emotional Punch’ on the Women on Writing site –http://wow-womenonwriting.com/articles.php

One in particular appealed to me and had my poor brain spining –

How to use Physical Stimulants to:

1. Help define and describe your characters

2. Help create greater emotional depth in particular scenes and situations.

In this context, Physical Stimulants include anything which will link to a specific emotional reaction for your character:

* A tatty wallet or book – some object from the past. A baby blanket. A music box. The ring your mother/boyfriend gave you when you were 18. Anything.

* Specific Songs – blasts from the past – [ Careless Whisper by Wham, Celine Dion whose Heart will go on – etc.] perhaps a make up or break up track or something your mother used to sing

* Specific pieces of Music -does your hero swing his head to heavy rock or John Denver? did you have to learn that piano piece when you went to the hero’s house and his mother was the tutor

* Specific food and drink. Cherry brandy at your granny’s at Xmas. The Coffee you used to have on Sunday mornings. Home made food made by a specific person.

* AND SMELL. Scent. The connection between that scent and a person and experience.

That one is a killer for me.

And then you use that connection to elicit the emotion in the character.

The Challenge? Make each of those connections unique. It is personal. IT IS NOT A CLICHE! And it evokes a powerful emotion in your character in that scene. In that moment.

What’s playing on my YouTube right now? Whitney Houston – from the Bodyguard. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=oMvsg0Ny5OY&feature=PlayList&p=9E78A195607312A8&index=9
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