How emotions can help with your editing or lead you astray

When I’m editing, I use an emotional Geiger counter to tell which parts of my story are working. It often helps. Here’s how it can go wrong.

This is not a post of writing advice, because I don’t do those. This is a post of writing observation. They’re different. Trust me.

I read books first and foremost for the emotions they evoke: wonder, awe, hope, joy, dismay, despair, and all the other good ones.

Similarly, I write with the intention of evoking such emotions in the reader. The hard question is how do I know when I’ve succeeded.

Writers with a lot of craft knowledge and experience probably just know. I expect they don’t need to read their draft to know how the reader will react emotionally at each point.

Me? I’m not quite there yet.

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