Why you need emotion in your novel

photo by Jason Stitt

Humans love emotions. We love being about to feel an emotional connection to the characters we read in books and the stories we hear on the news.

Emotion drives us. We as humans learn from emotion because we’ve all been sad, happy, excited, depressed, trilled, and so on.

That being said here are three reasons why emotion should be implemented throughout your novel

1. Without emotion the story is bland and average

The lack of emotion would leave the story like a dried up steak-bland, boring and tasteless. Nothing to get excited about.

2. Emotion gives depth to the story

It tells the why of the plot. If your protagonist is trying to save the world the big why is to save all the lives of humanization. The emotional connection the hero feels for their family, friend and even strangers all over the world drives him to save it. If the hero felt had no emotional connection he wouldn’t likely do anything.

As writers, we have to show that emotion the hero feels every step of the way. It explains why he makes the choices he makes and how he feels about them. It helps the readers understand.

3. Readers love emotion

Readers such as myself, and probably you too, love connecting with the protagonist feelings. Most likely the hero is going through something we never went through so we can journey through their experience.

It’s the journey that readers want. Readers want to travel with the character and they connect better with emotion. Call it human nature. Every human has emotion so every human can relate to it. It’s one of the many things that connect us as human beings.

How to add emotion

Now that you have an idea of why you need emotion I’d like to share how you can use emotion in your novel

1. Show Relationship

When you want to show the relationship between two characters you can use emotion to show the readers how the characters feel about each other.

You can show one character smiling when the other character walks by and write how fast their heart races  because their nervous and shy. That would be an example of infatuation between the two characters and that’s an emotion that is big throughout all ages.

2. Decision making

Use emotion to show your character making a tough decision. It shows the why and not just the character saying ok I made up my mind. The character has to be driven by something to want make an important choice and readers will understand emotion a lot better.

3. Thought Process

This tip ties in with decision-making because emotion can drive people’s train of thought.

For example, if your character is angry they might say things they wouldn’t normally say if they weren’t angry. Showing how he became angry, how he feels while he’s angry and even the remorse or lack of remorse when he’s not angry anymore shows more depth and will dive your readers more into the story.

This is because they begin to understand how the character feels instead of just “watching” or “seeing” his actions.


Thanks for taking the time and I’ve hope the information was helpful. If you love showing emotion and have any tips to share please comment.


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About the Author

Shaquanda Dalton

Hello, my name is Shaquanda Dalton and welcome to Learnasyouwrite.com! I'm from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graudated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in Creative Writing. I fell in love with writing at the age nine and love it till this day. :)