If you are to take anything away from this blog about writing fiction, it is this:
THE PURPOSE OF A STORY IS TO ELICIT EMOTIONS IN YOUR READERS AND TEACH THEM LESSONS OF UNIVERSAL TRUTH AT THE SAME TIME.
Plot should always be designed to create emotions. How the events that happen and why, should make your readers feel something.
If you want an interesting and practical example of this working, here is an excellent video:
If you don’t want to watch the full video, let me summarize. Stories can increase levels of hormones and neurotransmitters which affect mood and emotion. The three ones in the video are:
Dopamine: Can be activated by building suspense, leave story on cliffhanger, and general conflict.
- Effect: By releasing this hormone into the brain, we get an increase in focus, memory, and motivation.
- CAREFUL! Too much suspense can also create hormones that have the opposite effect and make readers irritable.
Oxytocin: Can be activated creating empathy. Most powerful hormone because it
- Effect: Bonds readers to your character. Connect with the story.
Endorphin: Can be activated through humor. It feels great to laugh! Your readers think so too!
- Effect: Feeling of enjoyment
If you can consistently create a range of emotions in your readers, they will continue to read your book. Make then laugh, make them cry, and make them pay attention.