When we experience different emotions, our bodies have physiological reactions. When we’re afraid our heart rate increases, when we’re angry our blood pressure rises, when we’re in love our body releases certain chemicals. As a writer, it might seem natural to describe our characters’ emotions by writing about how their body feels.
The problem is that these descriptions can quickly become overused and clichéd. Beginning writers, especially, make these mistakes, but I’ve also seen far too much published work that reaches for the quick cliché.
Unfortunately, I’m no exception. I wrote poetry for years before I began writing stories. A natural at imagery and metaphor, I had no idea how to do so many other things—like write about the body. I’ll share some of my early examples as long as you don’t “roll your eyes:” Read more