Monday, May 14, 2012

Emotional Connections

One of my favourite TV shows is Rookie Blue. Last week's episode had a clincher ending and it took me ages to get to sleep that night. I was so worried about one of the main characters - I just couldn't switch off!

As I was laughing at myself the next morning, it suddenly occurred to me that the writers of the show had done a brilliant job. I am so emotionally connected to these characters, I'm actually up at night worrying about them.

I want to do this as a writer. I want to write characters that readers feel a connection with. I want my readers to laugh with my characters, cry for my characters and worry about what's going to happen to them. I want to touch people's hearts and make them fall in love with the characters as much as I do.

So how do I make that happen?

I once read that to make your readers connect with the people in your world, you need to make them real... not necessarily in the outer things, but at the heart of who they are. Give them fears and desires that are realistic. Give your readers a reason to connect - something that will spark an emotion inside them, something that they recognize within themselves.

Do you find it easy to connect with the characters you read about?
Can you connect with the characters you write about?
How do you make it happen?


  1. Love this post. Regardless of genre, the characters must be relatable and believable. This doesn't mean they have to be likable, there are quite a few despicable villains who are beautifully crafted characters. Iago is a prime example of this, he evokes such a visceral response in readers simply because we recognize in him the baser parts of ourselves or he reminds us of someone we've known. Even in the most fantastical of worlds, if characters fall flat or are not believable, the story loses its charm and its readers.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Danielle :)
      I agree - even villains need to have a spark of humanity about them. I love those villains that you are caught between loving and hating. I think that is always really clever writing.

  2. I completely understand what you're talking about. We've recently begun streaming the show Flashpoint. Boy, do I connect with the characters. I've ended up crying a couple of times.

    I've never seen Rookie Blue, but I'll have to give it a shot.

    1. Rookie Blue is awesome!

      I'll have to check out Flashpoint sometime :)

  3. First off, I love Rookie Blue...and that Sam sure is a hottie!!
    I totally agree with Danielle.
    Sometimes its the more dastardly and morally corrupt characters that I connect with. But thats probably due to the writing of the author, opposed to me just liking a good villain!
    If you have enough emotion, humanity and conviction about a character that it pours from the page...I think the heart in us all just soaks that up regardless of their role in a story :)

    1. I think I'm just a little bit in love with Sam :) Maybe that's why I've been so worried about him!! I hope it turns out okay tonight. 9.30 can't come fast enough :)

      I agree with your thoughts, Cath. Thanks for stopping by.