Maybe it’s unhealthy to blog about a paragraph of progress, but with all the circumstances of today, I’m surprised I even wrung out a good sentence. [Circumstances: had a list of downtown pre-writing errands, no coffee until 2:45 pm, and my laptop screen has decided to be fritz-y indefinitely – I can only kind-of/sort-of read it at horsey resolutions.]

So, here goes. (Background: Thirty Decibels is first-person, from main character Ava’s POV. This takes place just before her coming-of-age ceremony.):

This is really it. Maybe there’s something we should say now, but in my head I’m fast-forwarding to the relief of afterward. I don’t let on – it’s the kind of thing Michele might twist around and feel rotten about. So here, on a floral comforter whose pilled places are now alien under my fingers, I sit on the brink of adulthood: unprepared, stomach stuffed with dread and turning with awkward guilt. Perfect.

I added this paragraph to page two as part of a rewrite for emotion, which I began today. I hope I’m on the right track – it’s a tough one. Sometimes I feel I should go “Method” with it (I’m only half-kidding). Or maybe find a high school library to work in. My diaries are only so helpful; though the subject matter recalls what my high school boy obsessions days were like, I was surprisingly fact- and thought-based in recording them.

Writers, what are your methods for portraying emotion (or for inspiring it in your readers, if different)?

Update: My laptop screen’s back from the dead! And I meant to mention Livia Blackburne’s recent entry on this same topic. Excellent as always.

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