by Karen Waddell
(WA )

Question: Can I write about emotions that I have turned into characters I seem to be able to tell the story better this way.

Answer: Using characters to represent various emotional drives is quite common.

Dramatica theory in fact conceives of a story as a model of a mind attempting to solve a problem or rebalance an inequity. Each of the characters then represents various facets of the storymind who can argue for various approaches, desires, etc.

So you may decide that one character represents skepticism, another support. One may represent conscience, another temptation. One is protective, another hateful, etc.

Of course, once you have decided what emotional drive a character represents, it helps to design the character to also be an authentic representation of a human being.

For instance, a villain who is simply the embodiment of hate could come across as two-dimensional. But if you give the villain an understandable backstory, unique physical traits, a distinct and complex personality, etc. that make him into a rounded human being who is understandably hateful, then the character becomes far more interesting and real to you and the reader.

Of course, when actually writing, it helps to put yourself into a state of mind that embodies the character you're writing about. If giving each character a simple label -- such as an emotion -- helps you to easily slip into their point of view, then by all means use it.

Other writers might use symbols to represent each character, animals, songs, or even colours. Use whatever works for you.

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