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How to Get Emotion Onto The Page

Lisa Cron

How to Get Emotion Onto The Page

Lisa Cron

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Class Description

It is a truth universally acknowledged: you have to hook the reader right out of the starting gate. From the very first sentence your story must incite that delicious sense of urgency that makes readers have to know what happens next. This is because every story, even the most rough and tumble, is emotion driven. If we aren’t feeling, we aren’t reading. That’s a tall order. Especially because when we talk about emotion, it’s maddeningly easy to misunderstand what it really is, and thus how to get it onto the page. Emotion doesn’t come from general external “dramatic” situations, nor is it expressed by body language, nor is it about whether a character is happy, sad, angry or really, really cranky. Riveting emotion springs from the protagonist’s internal struggle – the internal cost – of the escalating external decisions the plot relentlessly forces her to make.

This session gives you the tools to create an emotion driven story that will instantly hook readers. You’ll learn:

  • How to make your reader care about your protagonist, beginning on the very first page.
  • How to weave in potent emotion and so give meaning -- and urgency – to everything that happens in the plot. Emotion is the “why” that drives “what” your protagonist does, and it’s that “why” that the reader comes for.
  • Why, no matter how objectively “dramatic” an event is, unless it forces your protagonist to struggle internally, it will fall flat, and how to deftly avoid falling into that trap.
  • What emotion really looks like on the page – it will surprise you.
  • How to use emotion to shape your plot, and so sidestep the common problem of throwing random hurdles at your protagonist in order to ramp up the action.

Ratings and Reviews


Love this class - Lisa shares a lot of great examples that really explain how to convey depth of emotion without clangy descriptions or hitting the reader over the head. Super helpful!

Gabrielle Reynolds

Lisa Cron is articulate, clear and graphic in talking about things that have been misunderstood in creative writing classes to the detriment of teacher and student - and professional writers. Bringing the reader along on the protagonist's emotional journey is transformative and powerful. Breaking down writing myths and offering in their place techniques that give meaning in story-specific context enables the reader to be included and expanded, rather than feeling left out of the story. Bravo! I learned a great deal. As with her other courses, this one is tops.

Annie Ashdown

Brilliant, just brilliant

Student Work