How To Make Your Audience Cry

How To Make Your Audience Cry

Create intense interest and sympathy for the characters. A frequent criticism of fiction is that people don't really care about the hero. So make them care. How?

Likeability: this is an elusive quality. A basic human roundedness is what you might aim at - someone who tries to do the right thing and fails is more likeable that someone who is effortlessly virtuous. Flaws are as good as virtues.

Raise the stakes. Make it matter that the girl doesn't get that part in the school play. She doesn't just want it. She needs it (and she needs a good reason for that need).

Put your characters between a rock and a hard place. Heartbreaking dilemmas are better than simple decisions. "If I marry the man I love, I will break my dear mother's heart."

Think about how you can create emotional reactions in your readers. This is the way to hook people into the story - if their emotions are aroused, they will be engaged.

These are some of the emotions you should aim to create in the reader:

  • Fear
  • Empathy
  • Curiosity
  • Shock
  • Amusement
  • Grief
  • Pity
  • Awe
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