The Purpose of Creative Writing: Channel Emotions

The final lesson of this subject is how to channel emotions into your writing. In the second lesson (“The Persuasive Purpose of Writing“), pathos was talked about as one of the modes of persuasion. In the final lesson of The Purpose of Creative Writing, we will talk about how to spark an emotional trail going into your writing and how to do it with success. Here are the many ways to do this:

  1. Telling a story
  2. Metaphors
  3. Telling a joke
  4. Words

Let’s look at the first way--telling a story. Stories are usually the best way to channel emotions into your writing. If going into details in a smooth and clear way, you can stir emotion.

For example, if you wanted to write a paper on horses, you can tell a story of the time you went to a stable for the first time and how much you enjoyed it. Another example is writing about becoming a football player.

You can tell the reader the time you went to a football game with your Dad. Afterwards, go into your topic like this:

“It was my 6th birthday and my Dad wanted to give me a gift. I had no idea what it could have been, I already got the action figure I always wanted. He said, ‘Son--we are going on a trip!’ I had no idea where we were going. I decided to take a nap while Dad was driving. An hour later, we pulled up to a parking lot. I had no idea where we were until Dad and I got out of the car. I turned around and saw it was a football stadium! I got to see a high school football game for the first time. The home team won the game and made 3 touchdowns! That was the moment I knew I wanted to become a football player. I was so happy that I hugged and thanked my father.”

The second way to channel emotions is by using metaphors. A metaphor is a figure of speech where a word or phrase is applied to an object or action, but not literal. In other words, a metaphor is meant to describe a noun or verb, but not for an exact meaning. Here’s a few examples of metaphors:

-I am feeling blue (you are not feeling the color blue, you say that because you are feeling sad).
-It is raining cats and dogs (it’s not really raining cats and dogs, it’s just raining heavily and loudly).

Metaphors in writing not only makes the writing more interesting, but it can tap into emotions that are already felt by the reader. This is an example of using a metaphor (calling racism “a disease”) in a piece of writing:

“A disease is spreading the country as we speak. A disease so powerful, that no one has found a strong cure. Racism--whether its in the playground or in the workplace--still has huge effects that can affect anyone, even you.”

The third way to channel emotions in your writing is by telling a joke. You can turn a plain topic into something that can make a reader chuckle. Make sure the joke is appropriate for that topic.

The fourth way to put emotion in writing is simply using words. You have to ask yourself how you want your reader to feel. Instead of saying the word “cook”, you can say “culinary artist”. Instead of calling someone a “bad guy”, you can say “criminal” Think about what emotion comes out when you use certain words.

Writing Prompt:

Write a story using any one of the ways to channel emotion in writing. Use the examples to help you.