Question: I'm not a very emotional person and it's showing in my stories, my characters rarely ever have emotions, what do i do?

Answer: It is absolutely true that emotions matter. They are an important indicator of how important a character's goals and problems are. How a character reacts to something emotionally shows its significance.

Of course, you have emotions. They are part of the human condition. However, if you are not in touch with your own emotions, which many people are not, you may have a hard time imagining how your characters might respond emotionally. Often we learn to suppress emotions because we're rarely in situations where it's appropriate or acceptable to express them. However, even if your story is about people who are also in situations where they must keep their feelings to themselves, it's important to know what is being suppressed.

The standard recommendation - which you may or may not like - is to spend some time discovering your own emotions. This can be done by something as simple as journaling. For instance, you might spend half an hour a day writing about things that have happened to you and how you felt about them at the time. (This is especially helpful if you can write about times in your life when you faced situations even slightly similar to what your characters face.) Or you can write about feelings you have now that you have a hard time admitting, even to yourself.

If you have no idea how you feel about something, feel free to make something up. Play with possibilities. The important thing is to stay focused and pay attention. Eventually, something will ring true.

It may not be easy at first, and you may have to write about the same things over and over. You may have a hard time giving yourself permission to feel some of the feelings that come up, but it will be worth it in the end. When you're done, feel free to destroy the pages. No one ever has to read them.

One word of caution: sometimes, when you finally get in touch with emotions, they can come in more of a flood than a comfortable trickle. If that happens, feel free to slow down the pace. Take a break for a few days and come back to the exercise later when you won't be overwhelmed. In time, you'll be able to handle feelings more comfortably.

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