Emotional Depth with Rachael Thomas & Giveaway!

This week we have author Rachael Thomas talking about Emotional Depth- putting the spark in your story! She has a new book out, A Ring to Claim His Legacy. She also has a Kindle copy giveaway to one commenter!

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Emotional depth – putting the spark in your story.

During my journey to publication I was told my work lacked spark. At the time it baffled me. What was this magical spark and how did I get some into my writing? Then I had one of those lightbulb moments when I read that emotional depth ignites the spark. 

Suddenly it made sense.

So what is emotional depth? It is connecting with your readers, inducing emotion within them, moving them with your characters and their story. It’s giving them the chance to escape from their day to day lives and immerse themselves in the world you have created within your story.

Your reader wants to experience and feel what your hero and heroine feel. They want to feel that fizz of instant attraction as your heroine meets your hero at the beginning of the story, either for the first time or after having been apart for some time. They want to go on the journey of emotions as the hero and heroine head towards their happy ever after. The reader wants to feel their happiness, their elation. They want to laugh with them, cry with them. The reader wants to feel outraged by what one of them does or says and finally they want that warm sensation of satisfaction, that ahh moment when all is well and the hero and heroine head off into the sunset, happy and together, all problems solved.

Where does the reader get all this? From the words you write, the words they read. They might be just words on a page but from the emotion you put into your characters and your story the reader will be able to feel it too. It is the emotion, you as the writer felt as the words came onto the page. To get that emotion onto the page and into the words, you need to dig deep within yourself, to recall what it felt like to be in that first flush of love, or to be so angry with someone you just couldn’t speak. It doesn’t have to be the same situation, but using your memory of emotions will allow you to tap into what your character is feeling and show your reader.

When you start to bring your characters to life, you need to decide what emotions are they hiding behind, what is in their past that has shaped them into the person your reader will meet on page one of your story. Create your hero and heroine from the inside out. Then as your characters move through your story, different scenes will challenge these deep-rooted emotions within them, making them do or say things. You, as the writer need to know before beginning a new scene what emotion they will show to the reader, how the character will feel in that given situation and to do this. You need to be in tune with your own emotions, release them into your characters and their story and so, to the reader.

Here are my tips for creating that spark of emotion.

Ensure your reader knows your character
A reader will only invest emotionally in your story if they are can identify with your characters. If you are told a certain happy or sad event has happened to a stranger you might be interested, but if you were told that it had happened to someone you know, the depth of your emotions would be much greater. Make sure your reader knows your characters, so that as they read your story and experience what your character goes through, they will feel that same emotion, go on the journey with them.
Show the emotion
Always show your reader what is happening in a scene instead of telling them. Show how your hero feels when the heroine walks away through his actions. Allow the reader into your heroine’s world to feel all the pain she is feeling as she realises there is no future with your hero.
As you write a scene, know what emotion you want, know how you want your character to feel and allow your words and the characters actions show that to the reader. Make the reader feel that sense of betrayal when your hero discovers the heroine isn’t who he thought she was or that pang of fear as he is confronted by the one thing that represents all he’s tried to hide from in the past.
Choose your words wisely
Your choice of words will have great impact of the depth of emotion within the scene as will the length of your sentences. Back to the hero watching the heroine walk away. He won’t be thinking with soft and light words in long flowing sentences. The drama of the moment will be increased by short sentences and paragraphs and words which convey his desperation or shock. Equally, when the heroine is full of love for the hero, more gentle words will convey this.

Use your setting
As you write a scene, use all your senses to show the reader where the characters are and how that setting has an impact of the emotion of the moment. If the hero is watching the heroine walk away from him in the middle of a party, bursting with people that are happy and enjoying themselves this could have greater impact than if he’d just watched her walk out of his office. One word of caution. Don’t get carried away with the scene setting, bring in elements that will increase the emotion and be relevant to the emotions your characters will be experiencing.

Mix it up
Use a range of emotions throughout your story. Allow the reader to feel the heroine’s happiness as she enjoys time with the hero before that big dark cloud of disaster looms on the horizon. If the heroine is happy, the hero might be reserved or worried. Remember that your characters won’t always be feeling the same emotion at the same time – unless it’s that all important happy-ever-after!

And finally - Don’t hold back
One other little gem of advice I heard as I was working towards publication, was that the reader will not feel nearly as much emotion as you the writer will when the scene is being written, so don’t be afraid to allow your emotions to pour onto the page. Really feel what your characters feel and your reader will too. No matter how great your writing is, if you cannot make your reader feel, move them with the emotions of your hero and heroine and make them care about them, you story won’t work.

 A Ring to Claim His Legacy

Demanding his baby…

And his fiancée!

Tycoon Marco Silviano can’t forget the mysterious woman he spent an incredible week with on a luxurious island. Coming face-to-face with Imogen in England is shocking—especially when he learns she’s expecting his baby! Convinced their child will secure his family’s dynasty, Marco is intent on persuading Imogen to wear his ring. But once they’re engaged, their burning desire and Imogen’s warmhearted allure test Marco’s control to the limit…

Indulge in this passionate engagement of convenience romance!

Buy on:

Amazon UK               Amazon Aust


  1. This is the thing I've always had trouble with. It's my current struggle.

    1. Getting to know my character inside out really helps me. I struggled with this for a long time. Still do when I'm working on a first draft!

  2. These are great tips. I like it that it basically comes down to knowing your character deeply and then showing that character in full range so the reader can too. Before, I used to think it meant more plot challenges (which I guess can be part of it, but that's not the focus, is it!)

    1. It really does come down to that. Knowing how and why they react as they do creates that emotional depth. Plot helps, but it's the characters past and how it affects them within the events of the story that creates that emotional depth.

  3. Great advice and the book sounds good!

  4. Totally agree that emotion is a vital part of any story.

  5. That's exactly right. As a reader it's great when I can connect emotionally to a book I'm reading.

    1. Connecting emotionally when reading is what makes a story come alive! Thanks Mary.

  6. I'm glad you learned how to put the spark in your writing. Creating characters with enough depth to make readers care about them isn't an easy thing to do, but it's exactly what readers are looking for. Great advice!

    1. Thanks Susan. Keeping that spark alive whilst writing is the next challenge once it's been set alight!

  7. Wonderful advice. Creating spark isn't easy- but it is a lovely thing. :)
    Best of luck!

    1. Thanks Jess, it's great when you know you've achieved it, but as you say, it isn't easy!

  8. This was great advice. Writing emotion is challenging. Thanks!
    Wishing you all the best with your wonderful story.

    Hi, Nas.

  9. Thanks for the good wishes Sandra. xx

  10. Good advice for adding depth! Emotion is so important.

  11. Thank you for this great post. Some good points about writing. Congratulations on the new book!

  12. Ahhh yeah the spark. Sadly have read a few that lack that little bit of connection.