The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 130 – What is the Emotional Plot?
There are a LOT of parts involved in writing a story. Even if you are a panster, you should be thinking about the story's plot, characters arcs, how the two inter-link, sub-plots and how they affect the main plot, and then there is the story's emotional plot.
Wait. Emotional plot?
The emotional plot of a story isn't something we talk about much. In fact, there isn't a ton of information out there on it, but it is an important part of plotting as well.
Tune into episode 130 of the Am Writing Fantasy podcast as Autumn and Jesper (well, mostly Autumn) share insights on the emotional plot.
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Read the full transcript below.
(Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).
You're listening to the Am Writing Fantasy podcast. In today's publishing landscape, you can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need a literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now onto the show with your hosts, Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt.
Hello, this is episode 130 of the am writing fantasy podcast. And in today's episode, we're going to talk about the emotional plot and how to use it. Or perhaps I should say that you Autumn will be talking about...
I guess that's fair. This is one of my ideas because when I, I guess I knew about the emotional plot, but when I started playing with it recently and did a recent post in our Patrion feed, I just got so excited. Like, yes, we need to talk about this. And I somehow strong arms you into it.
Jesper (1m 12s):
No, no, that's, that's good. Then I can take a bit of a backseat and enjoy all the preparation work you of course have done for this episode, Autumn, like you do for every single episode.
Autumn (1m 24s):
Jesper (1m 26s):
No, you don't.
Autumn (1m 28s):
I'll be fine. I have every faith. We'll figure it out besides not doing my homework. How, how have you been?
Jesper (1m 42s):
Well, good. I did start writing book two in our series and I really wanted to get a writing sprint done this morning as well, but I failed. I was, I was actually up at five 15 this morning, but yeah, I prioritized exercising thinking that I could get a writing sprint done afterward, but then other tasks sort of got in the way and I hate mornings that just spiral, it feels like it just spirals out of control that way. Yeah. And I always advocate that people should prioritize writing and do it as the first thing, because then you don't get sucked into other things and you see, it happens to me like fingers, but I don't know my excuses that the being a soccer referee as well, it's important that I have a good fitness level.
Jesper (2m 37s):
So that's my shoes. But writing is important too. So it's one of those choices. We'll all have to make at some point, but yeah, I will. I'll I'll get some more chapters to be too hard on yourself because you have started writing it. You've done two chapters. We did all the plotting. You finished the previous book, which I'm still editing. So I think you're fine just because you're like a half a book of me, your foe. Yeah. Well, it's not necessarily that I want to be far ahead of you, but it's more like, I like to be productive and I love when I can see progress. So when nothing happens because I get sucked into a million other things, well, I do make progress on other things, but I want to see the book advancing all the time.
Jesper (3m 25s):
So since that's a bit annoying, oh, and by the way, my apologize in advance, if somebody can hear shouting in the background while we are recording, because my wife is watching the world championship, ice hockey in the other room and she can get quite an Tuesday astic about that.
Autumn (3m 42s):
So if somebody shout to me, that's exciting. That's pretty fun. Yeah. Yeah. How about you? Could we have like a number 10 day? I, since I should've played hooky because I, you know, had to do my homework anyway, but it was one of those days where it's started off cool in the morning and got warm in the afternoon and we just got clouds, but it was like brilliantly, sunny, but not too hot. And it was just if every day was like that, but since it's not, it was definitely one of those. I want to go sit in the hammock and have a cider and just kick up my feet for a little bit.
Autumn (4m 24s):
But I was, I adulting and I came prepared as much as you say, I didn't for today's podcast, so I I'm ready, but it's been good. Hey, and I got my second vaccination over the weekend. I am now. Well, once it's all the humanities kick in, I am now vaccinated fully. So that's, that was exciting. It wasn't horrible. I totally prepared. I was planning. I was going to be horribly sick coming in. My husband was horribly sick with his and I thought, okay, I'm just going to, I'm going to sleep on my bean bag chair. And he came back early from his training and was with me for the weekends. I'm like, I am totally, totally fine. And really, I just, I felt a little slow on my head was just, I've had worse, cold.
Autumn (5m 7s):
I mean, it really wasn't bad, but I wasn't quite myself. So we didn't, we binged on Netflix and took it pretty easy over the weekend. I didn't force myself strong on myself to do much work. That's always woke up Monday, felt like I had started a bunch of caffeine and ready to go. So that's pretty good. Oh, what do you watch? Everything a program called sexify actually. And it was the characterization and the story were fantastic. I think it's a Polish. And so it was, I do tend to like foreign series and it was just outstanding, the characterization and what they were going through.
Autumn (5m 54s):
And there were basically three women, three young college students who decided to develop an app. And the one was, she was head programmer and she was going to do something on sleep. And it was basically told it wasn't sexy. So she came up with something else and we won't go into it on this podcast, but it was a, if it, the name sexify and the stigma around it, you know, here I am skipping the topic, this typic stigma around what they decided to do was so interesting to see all their different roles and how they dealt with parents and try to figure out themselves in the world. And I just, we ended up watching, I think it was seven or nine episodes. And in two days we watched them all admit, which is totally unusual, uses one episode a day for me.
Jesper (6m 38s):
But yes, it was fine. Got some tea, got some chips, some veggie chips and just sat down and watched shows. Yeah, that's good. Yeah. And you still need to, if you love the foreign shows, you still need to watch those. I know you need to find them. Right. We have like the bridge, I guess it's the English translation. And then what is it called? What is it called? Killing, I guess it's called, but it's not good in the unit because the English wasn't when you're got a headache, the last thing you want to do is have to read subtitles, but I've looked for that.
Autumn (7m 22s):
And I thought, for sure, we had a workaround because we use a VPN and I figured what I could just put the VPN in Denmark. And then I could go ahead and watch the shows that I can't get in the U S it doesn't work that way. Netflix won't let me log in unless I'm under the U S VPN. So I can't get to your shows. Maybe I come over there and watch with you. Yeah. Yeah. And you can learn it's cold foods. Okay. To work on this.
Autumn (8m 3s):
That's a good try.
Narrator (8m 5s):
A week on the internet with the am writing fantasy podcast.
Jesper (8m 9s):
So I'd like to thank Jen for joining us on patron. So thank you so much. It was so great to see you join us there. And we can't wait to hear more about what you're writing. Absolutely. Your support is of course, what enables us to keep the lights on here at the app, riding fences, you podcast. So we really appreciate that. And Jen has also become eligible for our monthly live Q and a sessions, and they are so fun. I love getting the question. See, that's why I'm always fine for the podcast. We never know what the readers or listeners are going to ask when they join us, our students and our Patrion people, when they join us for the monthly Q and a, you got to just be ready to go with the flow.
Autumn (8m 55s):
But there it to me, especially when people come back in and they give us the progress, updates are just so fantastic to hear how people are doing. So it's good to answer the questions and share and offer support, and then celebrate when things are going well. Absolutely. Yeah, it it's really, it's really nice. I love those sessions as well. So dear listener, if you feel like you're getting something from these podcast episodes, then why not check out the patron page associated to the am writing fantasy podcast, we offer a number of rewards to supporters. And of course there is a link in the show notes, if you want to, or if you're interested in checking that out.
Autumn (9m 37s):
So I don't know, is that it autumn, or do we have anything else that you see that the M writing fantasy Facebook group is almost at 5,000 members? It like exploded last month. I think we jumped a thousand and just a couple of weeks. So that's been exciting, but I was going to tease you and say, well, even if maybe I'm teasing the listeners, but even if you don't enjoy the podcast, if you have questions on your writing, you can join one of the question and answer sessions, answer sessions for like $5 a month. That's a pretty good deal for customized help on your questions on your world, building in your marketing. And I don't know how we came up with that plan, but darn it, that's pretty cheap.
Jesper (10m 23s):
That's the, like the cheapest consultancy support you'll ever get in your life. That's for sure. But yeah, that's true. But I guess the irony is if they don't enjoy listening to the podcast, they will never say that
Narrator (10m 48s):
And on to today's topic.
Jesper (10m 50s):
So we should perhaps mention that the idea for today's episode came from a patron post that you wrote in the . Exactly. We always, I always try to give my best posts away there, and eventually they might find their way onto the podcast then the, maybe even the blog down the road, but this was one that I really enjoyed discussing Patriot. Like I said, once I, once I stumbled on the topic and that the emotional plot is totally separate from character arts and it's totally separate from the actual story plot, the story structure I'm like, it was like, I was finding one of those words that you've always something to define something you did anyway.
Autumn (11m 33s):
And you're like, oh, that's what it's called. I was so excited. So I'm like, yeah, we got, we've got to talk about this one because there is not much out there on the emotional plot, but I think it's, I think I stumbled on like one of the things I could finally say, this is one of my favorite parts of writing. So I'm excited. Yeah. It's cool. And I feel like the topic of the emotional plot, isn't that clear really? And as you say, there's probably not that much about it out there. So perhaps it would be a good place to start if you just sort of explain why no one ever understands what I'm talking about. And you want me to explain?
Autumn (12m 15s):
No, that's fair enough. The emotional, explain your mind, my story organization. And I've terrified you, I think have scarred you forever, that I was trying to, to, to just make any sense and make sense out of it. It's just the goal with go with my mind map. It's chaos, you know, that little meme that's, you know, Hey, what's that thing coming out of your head. And then someone's like, is mine, it's the plot to my next novel? And it looks like this giant worm cloud. Yeah, that's me all for time. But emotional plot, like I said, for it is not your story plot.
Autumn (12m 57s):
It's not the story structure and it's not character arcs, but it kind of overlaps like if those are two spheres, it kind of overlaps with them. It's so if you have a Venn diagram out, it's one of those, the third sphere of it, it is you could define it two ways. And the first way is that it is the character's emotional journey through the story. And that's a good place to start. If you never considered emotional plot before and applying it to the story, you're writing start there, that's one you can do easily. But to me, I think what I like is sort of like the pro level, and that is the readers emotional journey through the story. So it is literally plotting out what you hope.
Autumn (13m 40s):
You know, you never a hundred percent, you can't target another person a hundred percent, but what you really kind of want the reader to be feeling when they reach certain parts of your story. And that's what I think is so much fun. And that's interesting because I feel like normally when we are talking about plot, you automatically thinks about actions and you know, what is happening and stuff like that. And this is sort of more the yeah. Right. But, but you also mentioned the, but you also mentioned the character emotional journey and also the reader emotional journey.
Autumn (14m 25s):
But do, are they not linked like that? They're not two separate things there they be linked, but they can be the reader's emotional journey can be different from the characters, especially if you have several characters, but if you are, if you play with foreshadowing, if you have different characters, like you have the villain's perspective. And so the reader might have information that character doesn't have. So the character might be feeling dread and intention and a whole bunch of other emotions that the character doesn't feel because the character doesn't know. And that's the advanced level of emotional plot that I like when you, when you start layering in those bits of foreshadowing and those little elements, so that you're going to ratchet up the tension on the reader in a way that is actually not part of the story structure per se.
Jesper (15m 14s):
I mean, you might have those elements there to make it all tie together. But what you're really doing is you're putting in those elements to up the emotional impact of the story. And that's, that's the emotional plot. So you mean like for example, that the reader knows what is coming around the corner, but the character doesn't. So is that sort of what you mean? So hence it's, it's stressful or well exciting depending on what word you want to use for the reader, but the character is just sort of trotting along because they don't know what they are going to walk into. In two seconds, the character could be racing to meet her lover or wondering where he is, why he's late in the reader might already know the answer he's been captured or is dead or whatever has happened.
Autumn (16m 5s):
So the reader is going to have a much deeper, mixed feelings going on where the character is not quite there yet doesn't realize what happened. And so that's, like I said, that's more of the advanced level at the very surface. Especially if you write with mostly just one, one point of view character, then the emotional plot can be very similar to what the readers plot would be. And it's much more, much easier. You may have a little bit of foreshadowing that the reader might or might not pick up on and that's going to change the emotional plot. But of course, I think it could also be the other way around, you know, if you have an unreliable narrator, then it could be the other way around that the character actually knows what's going to happen, but the reader is not knowing.
Autumn (16m 58s):
So the reader feels all the emotions when it happens, whereas the character maybe don't because they already knew what or something, I guess, I guess it could go both ways. I guess that's what I'm saying specifically, you know, choosing to have that unreliable narrator, you can do that as a plotting element to help, you know, increase tension, but you can also do it, you know, add that other layer of that emotional plot. You're doing it because you're basically manipulating the character or the reader's emotions and you're doing it purposefully. And I think by saying, Hey, this is a different plotting element. This is a whole different layer and mapping it and keeping an idea of like, what am I'm doing this plot action to do this, to make this happen in the plot.
Autumn (17m 39s):
And I'm doing it also has this reaction emotionally, and that's going to be that and making sure it all lines up. So that way I know I just read a story recently where something big happened and blew up something that a character was waiting for and the character didn't react. And so basically the emotional plot element was completely missing. And by recognizing that there is an emotional plot element, you don't do that. You don't have a big event happen and then completely ignore the characters reaction when something totally changes.
Autumn (18m 20s):
But I'm wondering as well.
Jesper (18m 22s):
So of course, if you know how you want your reader to feel at a certain moment, you know, in the book, that's very powerful tool if you do it deliberately, but I'm also wondering is that like something you would go through as you edit the novel, so you feel like, okay here, probably they need to feel like this and that, and then always, or do you more see it, like something you do while you're plotting your actual chapters or scenes like you added in there? Or, or what if you're pantsing then do what, how do you think?
Autumn (19m 1s):
I would say if you're always, I think we both, I don't think there's any wrong way to do it. If you're a pantser it probably is something that you're going to add in later, unless you're just, especially if you're adding in the reader's reactions, if you're talking about the characters, reactions, if you're a, pantser, who's very attuned with emotions and the emotions of your character, you're going to put that in almost naturally. And then when you edit, you'll just have to make sure it's, you know, it's all there. You're clear on it. If you're looking at how to manipulate the reader, I think it comes out much better if you're a plotter or at least if you're more of a hybrid and you just simply plot out your chapters and if you have all your chapter, like, you know, your hook and your disaster and everything that happens in your chapter, if you also make sure when you do those, you say these are the emotional reactions, or this is the emotional note that this chapter is going to end on.
Autumn (19m 53s):
And it's almost, you know, you can have the emotional reaction as your hook to the next chapter. And the nice thing about the emotional reaction, you talk about hurdles and you talk about laws while the emotions are often, sometimes highest in the laws, because things are happening in the hurdles and you don't really have a chance to react. So those ones where those chapters, where the pace is slower are usually saturated with emotion. So therefore your emotional plot is actually almost counter your regular story plot. And so that makes it gripping. It keeps the pace gripping on some level, no matter what, and you can't ever drop that, you know, you always have them oscillating around each other, which is a really fun way of writing.
Jesper (20m 43s):
Hmm. Yeah. And also I really, I've grown over the years to love the lulls more and more and more because those scenes where there's no fighting going on there, they're sitting around the campfire and they're enjoying their bread and smoking a pipe and, and talking to each other. Right. Yeah. I mean, I, I've really grown to love those scenes because it's, it's usually where you can have the characters reflect on what happened. I mean, of course they will react in the moment when the dragon attacks and whatnot, of course, they will react to that and they will have emotions related to that. But the deeper understanding about the character's personality and their desires and their view of the world and all that stuff really comes to the forefront in those levels.
Jesper (21m 27s):
And, and I really, I have really grown to like those, I previously, I think years back, I always felt that they were, you know, we just need some action, but, but in reality, it's in the slow scenes that, that you can really also build that relationship between the reader and the character. Because once you start understanding what the character is about and how they view the world, how they think, what they decide and what they want, that's also where as the reader, you start building connections with that coach and you start understanding them, even if you don't, you don't have to agree with them and their desires and their wants. But, but if you understand where they're coming from, you will start building a connection to that character.
Autumn (22m 10s):
And I really feel that that's something action scenes can totally agree. Those are, I've always think I've always liked the lulls. And I, like, I think that's where, you know, that's where the, like I said, the emotions happen. That's where a character is fall in love. That's where they might have an argument that they couldn't have when they're helping their best friend. It's like, you know, you're, they're going to be there for their best friend to fight the dragon. But if there's anything like you won't, why did you do that? Why did you bring us here? That's what happened? You know, your risk, my friend's life. Those are the things that come out on the laws. And I like that kind of emotional spewing, I think. And that's why I liked this idea of the emotional plot is that you make sure you include that because you know, thrillers and action, adventure books, the ones that are always like the Hollywood cinemas that are boom, boom, boom, boom, you don't have an emotional plot.
Autumn (23m 1s):
And that's why they feel superficial. And also why some of the characters feel so thrown away, you don't make that connection. You never see the characters reaction. You know, they're always this stoic. I am doing this because I am saving and rescuing my daughter. And you're like, okay, do you ever show that you love her? Other than you save her life, that's going to help me Chris, back to you? No. Well, saving somebody's life is a problem. The coloration, I think I know what you mean because I know, I know what you mean.
Jesper (23m 43s):
And also when, when, for example, when I wrote the first draft of our book one, I tried really to, because something you said just reminded me that oftentimes also in the past, my LOLs would often be discussions between characters. You know, they would be disagreeing about something, maybe even arguing, I don't know, but big, because that would keep the tension high. So I thought like, oh, well that keeps it interesting. Even the laws. And it does. So it there's nothing wrong with it. But in the book, one draft that I just wrote that the one you were editing at the moment, I really try to make sure that some of the laws are not just arguments, but also just have like more deep and thoughtful conversations between characters and how they're growing to like each other and stuff like that.
Autumn (24m 39s):
And focus more on that as well. Other than it's just being somebody arguing all the time. So because otherwise you have like a full novel with either there's somebody fighting or somebody's arguing. And that gets tiring walls are where the humor comes in. And so it's, you know, like I said, you can find in book one and I'm bringing it out a little bit more, but those where you can tease each other where you show characters are, are truly friends or, you know, things like that. Or like I said, like if you had that romance supply, they fall in love during, you know, during those laws. And that's where, like I said, where's your plot action drops your emotions, emotional plot goes up.
Autumn (25m 23s):
And so then they both head into the climax and it's that much more explosive because the reader is tied with a character, is bonded with a character over those emotions. And the character has that the stakes are that much higher, you know, that they're emotionally invested in the outcome and maybe they're afraid and they know how much they're risking, where if you're just running Pell, Mell straight into the climax from one hurdle to the next, to the next to the next it's exciting. But I mean, you can only do an adrenaline rush for so long before you just need to catch your breath. And maybe you really won't remember, you know, remember the characters, remember the story as much.
Autumn (26m 4s):
You'll be like, oh yeah, that was a fun read, but it doesn't resonate with you for a very long time. I think it's really the emotional plot that makes the story resonate and brings the characters to life. And especially if you are a cruel, cruel author and you manipulate the rate reader with an emotional plot that is specifically designed to, to bring out certain emotions at certain points where, you know, you have two characters falling in love, but you know, maybe the reader knows that it's not possible or, you know, something else is going on that they know one of them is, is not going to be true. And that can really start twisting some gears that the reader knows things that the characters don't.
Jesper (26m 45s):
And they're like, no, I want to tell you don't do it. Don't do it. And when you have a reader shaking the book, wanting to tell characters, don't do something. You got them in your story. You've got a locked. Good. Yeah. And there was, I can't remember if it was one of our Q and a sessions or when, but there was somebody asking me at some point why I hated, or maybe it was one of our interviews, which we mentioned in last week's episode that somebody asked me, why do I, why do you hate the superhero so much?
Jesper (27m 24s):
I, and all the Marvel stuff. But I think listening to what you just said, that's exactly why I don't like those superheroes stuff, because they feel so superficial that they don't have, at least to me. I mean, I understand some people would disagree and that's okay. Don't, don't, you know, send me 500 emails telling me how, how wrong I am. This is just my opinion. But, but this is just my opinion, but I feel often like the older Marvel superheroes that they don't have that same depth to them.
Jesper (28m 7s):
You don't get those well laws, I guess, you know, a lot, a lot of the time in those movies where you really get to understand their emotional journey, that they are very caught, bought kind of characters often. I feel, well, I say that. And then of course, when I don't know if I can make it, it's under, it's behind a pay wall. And I didn't feel like spending like 9 99 to watch one movie. I thought it was just like, no. Oh, okay. Okay. Because that's like the perfect example of what I'm not talking about here, because the joker is built on emotional plot.
Jesper (28m 52s):
It is built on characterization. That is really what it's about. It's not so much about the joker or Superman Batman. I meant it's not so much about that as much more about the couch and what happens to him and his personality and stuff and the eighties.
Autumn (29m 10s):
It's so good, but that, I guess that's, to some extent, proof of my point, right. That that's what I feel like that's when it gets good. Whereas the other opposite where Superman is just fighting bad guys, or Batman is fighting the Joe Crane, you know, the older movies and stuff like that. It's it's, I don't know to me, it's this way. I think I agree. So it was like Superman loves Lois lane because he does. And it's just, it's like having someone who's evil. Yeah. It's like having a character who's evil for the sake of being evil. It's just, you need to see why, I mean, what does that mean to love somebody? What will he do for her allied or about who he really is?
Autumn (29m 50s):
Does he ever feel conflicted about that? I mean, those are the questions that I really love. I love stories with a little bit of PTSD. These heroes faced massive battles. They see friends die. I want to see the reaction to that, those emotional fallouts of maybe somebody, you know, getting angry over this or not wanting, not treating themselves well, because they're so upset. That's the reality. I, I see in the world around me and that's what I want to see in the stories. And you don't just do that by like writing and you just throw in a random emotion, you know, readers will call that out. You want to have that layered in lace through the whole story, which means stepping back and looking at your plot, looking at your characters and the character arcs and saying, what is the emotional reaction?
Autumn (30m 40s):
How is this character progressing on this character arc? What does that look like emotionally at this point in this chapter and making sure that it really is added in there. It's another plot thread to make sure is clear. And I think one of the few posts I've that are out there on this had a good suggestion saying if you're writing a chapter and it feels flat, or you feel like you don't know where it's going step back and look at the emotional plot. Because if you're not, if you're not connecting with your character, it's probably because you don't know where their emotions are and their emotional plot is. And once you figure that out, you will actually get the writing that much faster. It will help you write to figure this out.
Jesper (31m 27s):
No, that might be true. Yeah. If you want to see something where it is more or less only, yeah. I would say so or driven by the emotional plot or more or less only. Yeah. You can hear that this is English. That's how you say it. Don't, you know, you should go to your native speaker, even you should know that that's how you say it more or less only driven by the emotional flood. But if you ever watched the mythic quest show it's, it's on apple TV, plus I think it's called mythic quest, but that is really like, it is just characters and their emotions basically.
Jesper (32m 12s):
I mean, of course there is some sort of applauded it's it's about like a gaming company who makes an online game. And then it's basically about the people who work in that company. And it is a, it's a comedy show and it is quite funny, but it's funny because of the characters and their emotions. It's funny. And it is, it is actually really well done. I was very hesitant to what did I, I saw the trailers in the beginning, like many, many, many months ago when I was like, yeah, don't want to, but this is typically me when I see someone that's like, no. And then later on, I give it a try and, well, this is really good. Did the same thing with American gods. I also watched the trailer for it.
Jesper (32m 53s):
Hadn't felt no. And then I watched it and I loved it, or I, I say, I'm still watching it. I love it. But, so I think if you want to see like a show where it's done really well, and it's easy to consume, it's like 20 minutes episodes or something like that. Yeah. So it's something you can easily consume. It's just a human there's. No, you don't need to think watching it at all. That there's no plot to follow as such. But I would say try to watch that show because it, it really shows you couch your feelings and emotions and how it makes you connect to those characters. I've been watching the good place, which is also very similar where it's, you know, looking at the enterprise.
Autumn (33m 37s):
It's funny, it's cute. But it's the characters you fall in love with the characters I need. Even with sexify these three young hero wins that you know, how they meet, you know, there's, there's not a ton of action there. There's, it's, she's a game and app developer. Who's just trying to get her degree, despite not knowing things about her life. I mean, yeah, it's a coming of age story, but you get so sucked in because the emotional plot is so well done. They relate these characters. And this is, again, I think it's important in this day and age because we like good characters that have flaws. And we like villains that have good qualities and all of those layers, you can try to force them into a character profile, but by showing them actually manifest through the sh the plot and through the emotional plot, seeing the characters act certain ways, not just be told that it's a good show.
Autumn (34m 31s):
It's a, not a towel. You develop that that much more and the reader experiences it. And they're going to get that little bit of connection, have those feelings. You're gonna like them when they think, oh, you know, this is a good character, a good person, but they did something wrong and there's going to be fallout from it. No, my gosh, what's that going to be? Or the villain is not a hundred percent evil and there's this other side to him. And do you just wish you'd wake up and see the smell of coffee and see his be a good person and save the world. Because as he's already got the power or the position to do it, he just needs to stop being evil. So those are the stories you really can tell really well with an emotional plot, I'll call back, call back, call back.
Jesper (35m 17s):
What did we talk about? Just a few episodes. A good look at that again. We've talked about so much. Can we just go one of the worst, top 10 lists? It's just because I want to put you on the spot. W w no, but what was the topic of the episode evil things to do? Your character is one that comes to mind, the worst things to do to characters. We talked about a point of view, and yes, this goes along. And I think there is a very, very strong correlation here, because if you're writing in deep point of view, you are going to get exactly. They go hand in hand, it's taking the deep point of view.
Autumn (35m 58s):
And if you're struggling with it, this is maybe what you're struggling with is looking at the emotional plot, getting into that character's head, because the deep point of view is also word choice. Like, you know, a sailor using, you know, as Todd, as a rigging line, you know, things like that. They're going to always use words that fit their perspective. They're not going to talk about, you know, garden hose and things like that. If they're a sailor, they don't know anything about garden hose, but they also, this is taking just the emotional side of it. So not worrying so much about the word choice that you would in the deep point of view, but talking about, you know, how are they experiencing this moment? And like I said, and then if you really want to get too technical, figuring out what you want the reader to be thinking, feeling at that moment.
Autumn (36m 44s):
And that way you can make sure that even though it's a law, you know, there's something in there, the reader is going to be gasping over or so excited. Their heart's going to be fluttering. You know, those are the kind of emotions knowing you want to do that to your reader. You can be a little bit more strategic in making sure the chapter and everything that comes before builds that kind of emotion in your reader. And I really feel like if you get used to writing and deep point of view, a lot of this will come out automatically the emotional plot and the emotional reactions and the local scenes where you get to know, I mean, a lot of that will just come out naturally as you write your first draft.
Jesper (37m 33s):
And then I think it's to a last degree, I would almost say it's a lot about being very vigilant when you do your editing passes, to make sure that you are not only looking for, you know, of course, the good grammar and all those sorts of things. And then, but, and also finding the right words, but also bringing out those emotional elements and sort of keep asking yourself, am I, am I hitting the emotional, Akio the emotional plot? Am I showing what the character feels about? What happened here? Not, not like, I think I'm not saying overdo it like all the time, but, but at least making sure that maybe, you know, every other chapter so that there is some emotional stuff.
Autumn (38m 19s):
Well, yeah, I mean, you can almost guarantee that if it's a very action packed chapter, you probably don't need to worry about the emotions. That, that is an action chapter. That's a horrible leave it. The inciting incident. You don't, you have the reaction phase after the inciting incident because you are basically dealing with emotions. But yeah, I think it's, it's something just like when you're looking, if you're doing, especially if you do edit like me and you have those layer edits and you know, you're looking for your senses, you're making sure that the opening and closing hooks are good, look at the emotions. And if it's a chapter that isn't very exciting with action, make sure that there's emotional residence and depth there and, you know, decide how you want your reader to go through the novel, how they want, how you want them to feel.
Autumn (39m 5s):
And maybe there's a way you can tweak that. I think by taking control of it and looking at it, you will have a much smoother transition and flow through the novel, and you'll make sure that those emotions resonate and you won't forget about them. Like I said, I've reading, I've been reading a couple of working with a couple of really new first time novice authors the last month. And in both of the stories, I had to point out parts where it's like this big thing happened and it undermines everything they expected. And then they just keep going. What happens next? You look at that emotional arc and make sure the character at the very least reacts. And then, you know, once you get a series under your belt, make sure you're trying to figure out how you want the reader to react and see how that goes.
Jesper (39m 49s):
See if you can work on that a little bit more, often impressed by the fact that you can, you can do several editing passes and you can be so structured and make notes and everything. When I've looked at your script, the file, it's just that it's like night and day. I don't understand how you that's. It that's all you have is a very, I have this idea. I did a medullary right in Nevada, and it really developed the series yet. You should see my tainted Fe it is much more organized and much more clear and clean and clear crisp so I can organize it.
Jesper (40m 31s):
If you think I'm mad, you should see my husband seriously. He can't find a socks. Okay. Okay. But I think, unless we have more to say on this, I think I can, I can conclude by reading out aloud how you actually ended that excellent patron article, because I think it sums everything up. Nice. Lovely. So yes, let's do that. Yeah. So these are your words being quoted to you. Okay. Yeah, it is. If your story feels, something is missing and doesn't align, look at the emotional plot.
Jesper (41m 14s):
What is the character feeling? Does it make sense? What emotion are you trying to create in the reader? Are you succeeding? Nope. Somebody has been a genius who wrote that? I don't know who that was, but the author of that article, wasn't you. Okay. So next Monday I have an interview with the extremely successful Jeff Wheeler lined up for you. So you don't want to miss that one.
Narrator (41m 54s):
If you like what you just heard. There's a few things you can do to support the am writing fantasy podcast. Please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Autumn and Jesper on patreon.com/amwritingfantasy. For as little as a dollar a month, yYou'll get awesome rewards and keep the Am Writing Fantasy podcast going. Stay safe out there and see you next Monday.
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 142 – What to do Every Day to Become a Better Writer
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 141 –Top 10 WORST Powers to Have
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 140 – How to Get a Literary Agent for Your Book (with Jane Friedman)
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 139 – Does Race & Gender REALLY Matter in Fantasy?
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 138 – Book Pre sales vs Pre orders
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 137 – How to Maintain Your Story's Flow
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 136 – Top 10 Worst Characters EVER!
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 135 – How Beta Readers Improve Your Writing—with Pam Burleson & Paul Kilpatrick
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 134 – A Bit About Our Writing—Listener Q&A!
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 133 – Tips on How to Write Fiction Well
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 132 – Top 10 WORST People to Ever Teach Magic
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 131 – Jeff Wheeler on Amazon as a Publisher and Writing Fantasy
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 129 – Our Favorite Book Sales Tracker and Why You Need One
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 128 – Top 10 Reasons Why Your Character Will HATE You
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 127 – What Fantasy Readers are Looking For—with Damon Courtney
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 126 – Magic Systems Explained
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 125 – What is Deep POV and How Can it Help Your Story?
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 124 – Will Social Media Actually Help to Sell Books?
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 123 – Top 10 WORST Fantasy Worlds
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