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DwayneA
03-03-2009, 04:12 AM
Is it normal to shed a tear while reading a story? I just finished watching a movie where this one scene made me shed a few. Is this normal? Is it supposed to happen to people who see the movie or read a book?

Soccer Mom
03-03-2009, 04:18 AM
Is it normal to shed a tear while reading a story? I just finished watching a movie where this one scene made me shed a few. Is this normal? Is it supposed to happen to people who see the movie or read a book?


Yes.



Any more questions I can help you with?

mscelina
03-03-2009, 04:20 AM
I shed a tear once when I killed off a major character. I enjoyed the sensation so much that I resurrected him and killed him again.

In order to convey emotion to your reader, you must be able to experience it yourself.

DwayneA
03-03-2009, 04:20 AM
why did I do it? What caused it to happen?

dpaterso
03-03-2009, 04:21 AM
Is it normal to shed a tear while reading a story? I just finished watching a movie where this one scene made me shed a few. Is this normal? Is it supposed to happen to people who see the movie or read a book?
Yes, and dare I suggest that an emotional reaction from your audience is what you should be aiming for -- maybe you can't make 'em cry, but you should try to make them feel something.

-Derek

Williebee
03-03-2009, 04:21 AM
Listen to Mom, Dwayne. She's very wise, despite the citrus outfit.

KTC
03-03-2009, 04:21 AM
why did I do it? What caused it to happen?


Emotion causes it to happen. You feel a deep connection to the characters and you feel what they feel. You shed a tear. It is normal, yes.

DwayneA
03-03-2009, 04:24 AM
in case you were wondering, it was that scene from Spider-man 3 where Flink confesses his killing of uncle Ben to Peter and Peter forgives him. After that, Harry died. The music playing during those parts was so sad.

mscelina
03-03-2009, 04:26 AM
:headdesk:

Then it should be easy for you to find and express emotion at other, more tragic moments.

DwayneA
03-03-2009, 04:28 AM
what other emotions can people feel when they read a story or watch a movie? How do I get them to feel one of them? What are some examples of how I can cause such a reaction?

KTC
03-03-2009, 04:30 AM
in case you were wondering, it was that scene from Spider-man 3 where Flink confesses his killing of uncle Ben to Peter and Peter forgives him. After that, Harry died. The music playing during those parts was so sad.


That's a legitimate heart-wrenching scene. I think a lot of men get a bit teary-eyed when they see father/son or friend/friend make-up scenes. It totally makes sense.

dpaterso
03-03-2009, 04:33 AM
what other emotions can people feel when they read a story or watch a movie? How do I get them to feel one of them? What are some examples of how I can cause such a reaction?
A reader once told me he felt a lump in his throat when he finished one of my stories.

Maybe it was just relief at reaching the end without losing his sanity, I dunno.

But something in that story plucked an emotional string. It hinged upon the lead character realizing he wasn't alone after all.

-Derek

DwayneA
03-03-2009, 05:02 AM
I felt bad for Flint in the movie. All he wanted when he turned to a life of crime was to help his sick daughter. Yet even despite his good intentions, he loses her.

mscelina
03-03-2009, 05:12 AM
That's how you were supposed to feel. He was caught up in circumstances beyond his control and so, as an observer, you feel pity for him. The character was designed that way deliberately in order to provoke that precise reaction from the reader/viewer.

Cyia
03-03-2009, 05:12 AM
what other emotions can people feel when they read a story or watch a movie? How do I get them to feel one of them? What are some examples of how I can cause such a reaction?

I'm not sure how effective this will be, but I'll try and give you an example.

Here's the same situation done two ways.




Ben cried the day his daughter died from cancer.




Amanda's heart stopped, the steady beat replaced by plaintive electronic whine, but Ben never let go. He held his daughter's body against his chest the way he rocked her to sleep as a baby. She'd stare at him with those big brown eyes until she couldn't fight anymore and slip off with a smile.

Now she was done fighting, and he couldn't stand to look at those lifeless eyes.

Drugs. Pain. Misery. They drained her dry and used her up. The love fled, following her spirit to freedom. Ben closed her lids with his fingers, buried his face against her hair and shed every tear he'd held back for twelve years.

Aristocrazy
03-03-2009, 05:21 AM
The only time I've ever been moved enough to almost tear up is watching "the bucket list" ... something about that just leveled me externally (I'm a very calm movie watcher, don't jump in horror movies or anything. all emotion felt is purely internal and due to build up)

... and I'm only 20 so no clue why that movie of all things would be the one to put a chip in my armor.

Matera the Mad
03-03-2009, 07:45 AM
I judge books and movies by the moisture level in my eyes. A few times I have done it to myself while writing something dreadfully heartwarming or sad.

Beach Bunny
03-03-2009, 07:52 AM
what other emotions can people feel when they read a story or watch a movie? How do I get them to feel one of them? What are some examples of how I can cause such a reaction?
All of them. You can make your reader feel the range of human emotions when they read your story. How you do that is by feeling that emotion when you write that passage. Easier said than done. :Shrug:

Atlantis
03-03-2009, 12:15 PM
Is it normal to shed a tear while reading a story? I just finished watching a movie where this one scene made me shed a few. Is this normal? Is it supposed to happen to people who see the movie or read a book?

I almost cry everytime Buffy throws herself off a building to save her sister's life in season five. I also almost cry everytime I watch the final scene between Spike and Buffy in season seven. There's nothing wrong with shedding a tear while watching a movie or reading a book. Its a hellva compliment to the writer.

Ruv Draba
03-03-2009, 02:30 PM
what other emotions can people feel when they read a story or watch a movie? How do I get them to feel one of them? What are some examples of how I can cause such a reaction?There's a handy three-level emotion classification system here (http://changingminds.org/explanations/emotions/basic%20emotions.htm), which lists in the first two tiers...

Love: Affection Lust Longing
Joy: Cheerfulness Zest Contentment Pride Optimism Enthrallment Relief
Surprise: Surprise
Anger: Irritation Exasperation Rage Disgust Envy Torment
Sadness: Suffering Sadness Disappointment Shame Neglect Sympathy
Fear: Horror Nervousness

There's a third tier too that I've omitted for space. Whether you like the classification system or not, it may be handy for discussion purposes.

Fiction creates emotion in the reader through empathy (helping the reader to understand what emotion the character is feeling), and sympathy (seeing the situation from the character's viewpoint). Readers will typically feel emotion on behalf of a character, but sometimes also on behalf of themselves -- especially if the event depicted is similar to their own experiences. All the primary and most of the secondary emotions can be experienced on behalf of another character, and many of them can also be triggered in the reader for themselves if you write about circumstances they identify with.

So how do we create empathy? I think it comes from strong observation and good prose. For instance, how do you get sad? Does it switch on like a light, or does it come in stages? One way it might come (I've seen this in some men) is a sense of unease, followed by denial, followed by anger, followed by trying to hide the sadness, followed by alternating misery and shame at crying. A sad man might not accept comfort right away. "I'm all right" he'll be saying, even when he's not. If you can depict that in strong prose then it may look like the sadness that people have either felt or have seen. They'll know exactly what it is even if you never use the word 'sad' or never show the character's tears.

But will they feel it? I think that depends on sympathy, not empathy.

Sympathy can come about if a character is doing something that the reader would want to do in the same circumstance, or experiencing something the same way that the reader would -- especially if the character is suffering while experiencing it. Seeing others suffer hightens our empathy and triggers our sympathy. Strangers will often cry at funerals, even if they don't know the deceased. Babies will cry when they hear other babies cry. We often develop compassion even for our enemies when we see them suffer.

Tension (caused by conflict) and suspense (caused by delaying decisive actions) can also add to sympathy.

So, an example.

Firstly, a sad event, but not one I think many readers would feel sad about.


The killer shot John's wife. John cried.

This next one attempts to play for the reader's sympathy by showing John making a choice that many might make in the same place, then by dragging out John's anguish in a series of suspenseful steps. At the same time, I'm trying to show John's emotions without saying what they are. See how many emotions he goes through. This example is hampered because we know nothing about Mary. There are no guarantees, but see if it reaches you more than the example above, at least.


The killer lifted the pistol. John's heart lurched as he saw that it was aimed at his wife. Her eyes widened and her fingers spread like a baby's.

"No!" he yelled. "Please!"

The killer hesitated.

"Me..." John's voice croaked. "Kill me if you must."

The barrel of the pistol swung around. John's mouth went dry. His legs gave way and he found himself on his knees. The weapon's black mouth gaped.

The killer snorted, turned back. "Y'know", he said... "I like it better this way."

The gunshot punched a hole in John's hoarse cry. "No!"

Mary staggered, fell. John scrabbled toward her over carpet, cupped a hand under her head, screaming her name.

No wound. There was no wound anywhere on her.

But then she coughed blood and her floral print dress blossomed crimson just under her breast. John's stomach plummetted somewhere to Hell and his arms went numb. He smelled gunsmoke and Mary's perfume. He keened.


Hope that helps.

DwayneA
03-03-2009, 06:53 PM
sure does

tehuti88
03-03-2009, 08:30 PM
Is it normal to shed a tear while reading a story? I just finished watching a movie where this one scene made me shed a few. Is this normal? Is it supposed to happen to people who see the movie or read a book?

I often cry at certain stories/shows/movies. Heck, sometimes I cry reading my OWN stories! And that Sarah McLachlan ad with the abused animals gets me every time. I'm a sap, yes. :o

If a story (movie, TV show, commercial, photo, whatever) can make one laugh, or can make one angry, it stands to reason it can make one cry. Nothing strange about this, unless, of course, you cry when something is intended to make you laugh, or vice-versa.

haefner919
03-03-2009, 08:40 PM
My goal is to write stories that take readers through a range of emotions...my job is not done if my reader does not laugh out loud, cry/tear up and get angry with my story. In all of the novels I've written, I teared up while writing some of the scenes.

Kaylee
03-03-2009, 10:03 PM
I hope so. Isn't that what the person that wrote it wants. I know I do.


Life is what happens, while you're busy making other plans -- John Lennon