The Emotion of Change

Putting emotion on the page can be vexing. Too much, and the reader rolls her eyes; too little, she won’t fully understand the scene. Subtle emotions are – as one would expect – the most difficult to peg (it helps to observe the emotional reactions of family and friends, but they aren’t always delighted to see themselves in your novel). With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, writers have a chance to observe thousands of people deal with the emotion of change, which is a complicated emotion indeed. Even if you aren’t an Anglophile or closet monarchist, tuning in to some of the coverage of the rites and rituals is a useful exercise. Watch how people say “pay respects” or “be part of history” – their expressions and body language tell as much as the words they use. Your next project may be easier based on these observations, and you don’t have to worry about ticking off the people you love by using their emotions for your characters.

Luck and wisdom!