Emotional Life of Characters

Emotional Life of Characters

“The emotional lives of your characters need to be clearer than your own.” This is my own advice to writers that I find embarrassing, however true. The emotional lives of my characters are more obvious to me than my own. It might have something to do with the fact that I must know my character so well that I know what motivates them, what is it that they truly want in life, in this situation, right now. What matters most to them? I know that. When I ask myself the same question, I can take hours finding an answer and then I’m not sure if it is a rationale one or an emotional one. I have a friend who checks her dreams for emotional information;  my dreams are not informative.  Because I know my fictional characters well, their diction is consistent. They speak and act in a manner consistent with their emotions, their education, their upbringing, their culture, and their present circumstances. My own diction can be up and down the register, depending on the company I keep and the reading I’ve been doing. My characters’ lives, bless them, are crystal clear.