By Laura Haley-McNeil
When I ask you that question, you’re probably thinking that I’m somebody’s shrink. Although I could probably use one, this is actually the question I ask myself while writing.
That’s what writing is all about. Emotion. Make the reader feel the story. Because I want the reader to feel the story when she reads my book, I have to feel the story while I’m writing the book. When I’ve written something that should make the character react, I ask myself, “How does that make her feel?”
Right now, I’m writing about a woman who has just seen the summer love she abandoned fifteen years ago.
How does that make her feel?
How would that make you feel? What are you thinking?
Okay, this is fiction. This is your fantasy. You’re in control. So let’s pretend this guy still looks hot. Now tell me how you feel.
Are you remembering that sultry night when you and he were the only ones left on the beach after the party? How did he look at you? How did that make you feel?
When he stroked your cheek, were his eyes smoldering? Was his hand rough against your smooth skin?
Okay, now back to the present.
How long did it take for all those memories to flash through your mind? Are your children crying that they’re hungry? Are they digging through Cocoa Puffs?
Now Mr. Summer Love sees you. Did you see his chin tilt when he recognized you? It just moved a fraction. You noticed because he was always so cool, so controlled.
Except that one night. Remember? Of course, you do.
Now the corner of his mouth is curving. His eyes are softening. They almost seem liquid.
You don't realize this right now, but reality is drifting away. Nothing else exists except you and Mr. Summer Love. The War of the Worlds could be raging around you. But you don’t notice.
You’re looking at him. He’s looking at you.
How does that make you feel?_____________________________________________________________________
Laura Haley-McNeil has studied piano, violin, organ and ballet. She has served on the boards of two community orchestras. She currently lives in Colorado with her husband. Her books include her latest, Fragments of a Melody released December 2013. Her other books include Calling Me Back, Again and her free ebook, Prelude and Fugue. She also has authored the short story, Murder the Past.