and part 2…
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.
Next you need to grow the feelings until they tangle up inside the reader and turn toxic.
Anxiety in the reader happens for three main reasons. First, the reader must care about the character. Second, a bad outcome must be possible. Third, the odds need to be neither strongly for nor strongly against the character. Anxiety comes from caring, risk, and uncertainty. All three of these should be raised carefully…
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