I’ve been a mother who accidentally killed her only child. I’ve been an orphan stalked by the man who murdered her family. I’ve been a barbarian warrior struggling with how to survive in his brutal, pagan culture now that he’s come to faith in the one, true God. I’ve been all these things without ever actually giving birth, losing my parents, or swinging a sword in battle.
As a fiction writer, you’re also going to need to write about characters who are nothing like you and who are in situations you’ve never been in. And to make it work, you’re going to need to convincingly convey their emotions. Even in plot-driven novels, readers want characters whose emotions seem real and powerful. The question for us as writers is, how do we write emotions our readers will be able to feel and participate in when we have no personal experience with what our character is facing?
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