Emotion 2: Representing character emotion



Hey! đź‘‹

This is the second lesson in our series about emotion in narrative.

The first lesson looked at how emotions help us understand the meaning of the events in a story, and how stories can be seen as a series of emotion-behaviour loops.

In this lesson we'll look at different ways we can represent character emotions within a story.

What do we mean by represent emotion?

We mean, what language and patterns can we use to show that a character feels a certain way?

For example, we know when an image represents emotion because we can see it:

Children tumbling in 50s Japan

But when we read a snippet like the one below, how do we know what the characters feel?

Then I saw Steve’s face. I’d never seen him like that before. A sudden look of terror, eyes wide open, mouth agape. He saw something behind me that I couldn’t see. I didn’t have time to turn around and look.

WaveSonali DeraniyaSource

The snippet above uses a combination of emotional labels, thoughts, and behaviour, and all of which we'll explore in this lesson.

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