Emotion 1: Emotional cause and effect

Emotional cause and effect

Recap

Quick recap: what have we learned in this section?

Before we started this section we had established that:

  • Character emotions help us understand the meaning of events in a story.
  • Different emotions imply different meanings, because each emotion has a different job.
  • Emotions also help us understand what characters want and value.

With this latest section we've gone deeper:

  • Emotions are not just reactions, they are also the cause of behaviour and events.
  • Emotions and behaviour work in a continual loop.
  • A basic version of the loop is trigger > emotion > behaviour.
  • Given that emotions are composed of physical feelings and mental thoughts, an expanded version of the loop is trigger > feeling > thought > emotion > behaviour.
  • One loop leads to another: behaviour creates a new trigger, which starts a new loop.
  • One character's behaviour is often another character's trigger—so how you describe a loop depends on whose point of view you're taking.

Here's the expanded version of the emotion-behaviour loop for your reference:

Diagram showing trigger feeling thought emotion behaviour in a continual loop

Next

Let's pull all this together with a rewrite that focuses on a chain of emotion-behaviour loops and multiple points of view.

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