Incorporate Emotions Into Your Writing: Sadness
By Megan Standley
It’s time to go ahead and get that one emotion that no one wants to feel out of the way. That emotion is sadness. Everyone feels this emotion at some point in their lives and it isn’t something they want sticking around for long (unless you love to be sad). Even though sadness isn’t the best emotion of them all, it is the easiest to put into writing. A lot of that has to do with personal experience.
If that confuses you, let me explain: think of your main character in a situation where you must incorporate sadness. Now, think of a time in your life when you felt sad and use that as inspiration for your main character. You can place the same experience or a somewhat similar one into your story.
Like all other emotions, sadness is important, even though it’s the least liked and in today’s times it seems that sadness is taking over at a rapid rate. Use that as inspiration to write a dystopian story or poem, essay even a journal entry. Many literary magazines devour submissions that are inspired by today’s events.
In the Pixar movie “Inside Out,” the character that’s cast out is Sadness, until Joy finds out how important she really is. Riley can’t go through her life feeling only one emotion, because that’s not how the brain works; there are emotions that some people are good at expressing and some aren’t. I’m good at expressing anger and sadness, not so much happiness and fear. That’s something I need to work on in order to incorporate those emotions into my stories, otherwise Alexander of “Project Starfish” is going to seem more of a robot than a human.
To fully understand what emotion you need to use is to really feel that emotion even when you don’t want to. Need your character to feel sad? Think of the most sad part of your life or watch sad videos, or even listen to sad music on the web (there are thousands of them) to give you inspiration. Need your character to feel anger? Think of the parts in your life that made you feel the angriest; anything that makes you angry can be inspiration to incorporate anger into your character or writing in general. Need your character to feel fear? Think of the time that you feared most or watch horror movies (I, myself, love to watch horror movies). I will delve deeper in the other emotions in later blogs.
Although sadness is the let-down of all emotions, it’s still something that you need to have your character show. If you’re writing an essay that needs you to describe sadness then you need to really familiarize yourself with the emotion to understand it to its full extent.