The first of four parts… A great post.
The well-written book can provide a cathartic experience for the reader.
Catharsis is the expulsion, repulsion, or purification of toxins and impurities. Emotional catharsis can allow the release and possible transformation of many different negative feelings. These may be toxic emotions built up from real life or emotions instilled by the writer.
Before you can give the reader a cathartic experience, you need to decide which emotions you want to harvest and plant the seeds for those reactions.
What negative reader reactions should you aim for? I think the top three reactions could be anxiety, fear, and sorrow. All three of these reactions are signs of an interested reader who has become invested in your characters and plot.
Anxietygrows from prolonged suspense. Anxiety is caused when the reader understands the situation and either does not know how things will end. Reader anxiety can be useful at…
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