Write With Passion: 4 Steps To Emotionally Charge A Nonfiction Article

Oct 13 21:00 2004 Catherine Franz Print This Article

You have just ... a draft of an article. It ... even to you. It needs some spunk. Needs to be ... Possibly you're at a loss on how to spruce it up sothat it creates an ... co

You have just completed a draft of an article. It seems
flat,Guest Posting even to you. It needs some spunk. Needs to be more
alive. Possibly you're at a loss on how to spruce it up so
that it creates an emotional connection with the readers.

A flat fiction character is easier to fix with emotional
language than a nonfiction article. Especially if the
nonfiction article doesn't include a character or an
emotional story. Keep in mind that if you have written the
article from a personal experience perspective, then there
is a chance you have already included some emotionally
charge language. Then all you need to do is ask, "Does the
article have enough emotionally charged language to touch my
readers, to pull them in, to keep them reading, to move them
to action or possibly a conclusion?"

Why would you even want to add emotion to a nonfiction
article? It’s sure easier not too. Adding emotion to your
writing, any type of writing, fuels the reader’s attention,
helps them connect with the action. It gives the reader an
experience. Experience is why people go to the movies or
watch TV. More importantly, it keeps them reading.

"What does emotionally charge mean exactly?" Emotionally
charged means using language that stirs the reader in some
form. Not to sound flippy, but when and how frequently
emotions need to occur depends on what the subject, tone,
and angle. Yes, even tone matters in a nonfiction article.
Is it to be terse, confident, or are you talking as an
expert? Maybe it’s a learning tone? From a previous
student now teacher. An informing tone, usually overused in
nonfiction, turns off readers if used consistently, like in
a column, or multiple articles, on your web site, or in a
newsletter.

Step 1: Find the Emotion

Begin by defining what main emotion you want the reader to
feel or to understand. Were you peeved about something and
it set off the writing of this article? Maybe you see a
wrong and want to set the record straight, or to convey a
different truth, a truth from your perspective. Is it
compassion oriented or spiritually based? Maybe you want to
convey an inspirational or motivating tone. Is it love that
you want to convey? Love for a topic. Love for a hobby or
something you're passionate about. Your love, someone
else’s, the world’s, who’s, and how much love do you want to
send out?

You can limit the number of emotions according to the word
count. Here’s a common calculation: <600 one emotion.
<1200 two. >1800 three or four.

You can choose the emotion you want before the first draft.
Yet, many writers, including this writer, prefer to add
emotion during the second draft or first edit.

Close your eyes and feel your own inner self on your topic.
Find the emotion, the tone, give it one or two words, and
then write it in the article’s margin for easy access. If
it’s a personal experience, think back to that time,
reconnect with that emotion. Did you feel numb, affection,
anguish, excitement, shame, guilt, remorse, violent? How
about confused?

One of the many reasons I love writing marketing articles is
because I see so much misinformation on the topic and it
riles my feathers. When this occurs, I write from this
emotion and that language naturally flows into the article.
Since this isn't the emotion I want to convey to my readers,
I rewrite a second draft in the emotion that I truly want to
convey. Usually, from a more loving and patient
perspective.

What did you hear, smell, touch, see or even taste during
the experience? If you personally didn't experience what
you are writing about, do you know someone who did? Ask
them to share their emotions with you. Put words to those
feelings. The taste language doesn't necessarily have to be
food related either. Your lips could be dry. You're tongue
can taste like you just liked a stamp. Relate the taste to
something that the readers can understand because they have
experienced it as well. We've all licked a stamp sometime
in our life and remember the icky dull bad breath feeling it
left on our tongue. My face is curling up just thinking
about that taste.

Another way to find the emotion is to relate the article,
topic, to music. Does it remind you of a fox trot, waltz,
rock and roll, jazz, R&B, what? It could even remind you of
a particular song. Can you access the song, or remember the
lyrics? Musically lyrics are great places to find emotional
words and language.

Step 2: Connecting

Close your eyes, sit quietly with the article. Sense
yourself reading the article in your mind. No, not the
identical words but the idea, the vision, the thoughts. If
that’s a challenge, read the article out loud, very softly,
as if reading it to an angel. Even notice where you take
breaths. These are places where new paragraphs begin,
commas or periods needs to occur. If you run out of breath,
maybe the sentence needs dividing, eliminated, or even
combined.

You can even tape record your reading. Listen with your eyes
closed. This is also a great way to hear the flat places in
the article. Identify the emotion from what you hear.
Record all the emotional words you hear or feel in the
margins. Every word is right, so don't miss any. Place all
judgment in a shoe box for now.

Step 3: Adding In The Emotion

Review your words. Brainstorm with a thesaurus, synonym
finder, or dictionary. Online you can use:
http://thesaurus.reference.com/, or
http://www.acronymfinder.com/, http://m-w.com/netdict.htm.
Continue your list in the margins. Now its time, before
the editing process to add in the emotion. If the first
draft is very dry, this is a good time to realize that it’s
not uncommon for writers to rewrite the article completely
because the emotion conveyed was too far off at the
beginning. If this is the case, consider the first draft a
brain dump, a warm up session. And now you're ready to
roll. Your hot, the feelings are sizzling.

Step 4: Editing

Usually, editing is to help clarity and tighten. Caution
though, it is easy to remove the emotionally charged
elements that you painstakingly added. Sometimes, when
using an outside editor, someone that doesn't hold the same
emotions as yourself, they remove the emotions. And
sometimes too, there are too many emotions. There is a
delicate balance. However, many editors walk this tightrope
carefully and with honor.

Most writing needs energy, needs emotion, that convey the
story, the information, so as not to put the reader to
sleep. Or even worse, stop them from reading. And your
passion is what needs transitioning from you to them. Watch
the magic when you read someone else’s material that conveys
emotions. See how they use the words. When I'm in the
flow, I feel the emotion pushing the pen as fast it can
across the paper. I know, through experience, when this is
occurring and I'm writing so fast, I have a tendency to
leave words out. I use to stop at the end of every
paragraph and reread and add them. Don't, let the flow
occur. Trust that whatever is needed will again be there
for you to filling in any missing blanks. Let the magic
come through. Your readers desire it.

Special Note: An accompanying list of emotionally-charged
words is available in the Abundance Center’s Forms Section.

(c) Copyright 2004, Catherine Franz

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About Article Author

Catherine Franz
Catherine Franz

Catherine Franz, a Certified Professional Marketing &
Writing Coach, specializes in product development, Internet
writing and marketing, nonfiction, training. Newsletters
and articles available at: http://www.abundancecenter.com
blog: http://abundance.blogs.com

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