Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Is evoking one emotional response better than another?

In the past, I have primarily aimed to write humorous, lighter stories that evoke happiness and 'ahhh' moments in readers, not that I'm particularly hilarious as my family and friends can attest to as they roll their eyes at my lame attempts at jokes, but because I believe that evoking happiness in a reader is just as important as making them cry or lash out lol. (BTW-I do realize what an incredibly long run on sentence that was-I'm known for those as well.)

Having said that, I tried something a little different with my current release, What A Girl Wants and it worked...I think. I mean, I hope it's a good thing. I went for anger in readers with the last portion of the book, right before the HEA. I created an antagonist that readers were not supposed to like and believe me they've been vocal about their hatred of Emily. (One fan said that if Emily gets her own book in the series, she refuses to read it lol). I said of course she wouldn't get her own book-ahem-at least not now anyway. :) But, I also took a chance on my hero and like I expected he is meeting with mixed emotions (a far cry to the war raging over Luke Dawson in book one).  Ethan does the right thing in this book, even if it means breaking his own heart and the woman he loves-Bailey, and while I know that's not in typical romance style, I can't help but love him for it. For being that good guy-I'm a sucker for the good guy:)

Either way, it was fun to try something different. In my next two releases-I attempt to make readers cry...I certainly did while writing the stories, and I hope it works.

But, after receiving feedback on both of these books-it made me wonder if evoking one emotion in a reader is better than another and I don't think so...I think readers want to feel it all or at least feel something and if I can achieve that in my books, I'll call it a success.

xo
Jen

18 comments:

  1. Jen, sounds like you're definitely creating buzz! I think if a writer can evoke any emotional response they've done their job well! :)

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  2. Jen, I've learned you can't please all readers all of the time. It's why there is such a broad variety of books out. That said, we want to keep the readers who find their way to our stories happy. I'm amazed at the readers who want to read the same thing over and over. I don't like to. I like variety. So I'm one reader who will like you presenting different emotions. I'm sure there will be a lot more of us, and you need to present the characters as they feel right to you. Looking forward to What A Girl Wants

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    1. Thanks Roz-I totally agree:) The funny thing is the reviews are still good-they just email me later to yell about me for Emily lol:) I kind of love it to be honest lol

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  3. I agree with Rula--evoking any emotion in a reader means you've accomplished your goal. That said, the books that made me sob are the ones I tend to remember best...although not always in a good way :) There's one book I remember that to this day makes me cringe because I was sobbing at the end (author and title withheld to stop the flashback, LOL). Books that are touchstones are better remembered, IMO. :) And Roz is right, too--can't make everyone happy and it sounds like this story challenged you, which is a good thing! :)

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    1. Oh Anna, to say it challenged me is an understatement lol. But it was fun to write a villain and write what I thought was a realistic way that a man would handle the situation thrown at him:) I definitely aim to please my readers-in fact if they want me to throw in a pink elephant, I'd do it, but I really did stay true to the characters in this one.

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  4. I sense you are planning to redeem Emily at some point...love that. And by the time she earns her story, that reader will be ready.

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    1. Thanks Mel:) I was being honest though when I say she's not getting her own story. I think I agree too strongly with my readers that while she deserves redemption, I'm probably not the author to do it for her lol. That would be a challenge of a lifetime, I think. However, in book five-Lindsay Harper (fans will know her as Victoria's rival) does get to tell her story, which is again challenging, but fun:)

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  5. Jen - art of any type is intended to make people think and talk. While readers come to romance (I think) because they know they're going to get what they want, I believe they enjoy being surprised in the process. And I'll bet you will get to the point where you can write Emily's redemption. She'll live with you along with your heroines and you created her, after all - you can save her. Now, I'm really anxious to read the book.

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    1. Lol, thanks Muriel:) It's so funny how a little controversy can spark interest. The day after one of my all-time favorite readers called me out on Facebook to say that she was so angry reading Emily's part of the book that she had to walk away from it, my sale rankings on all the e-retailer sites went up lol. I hope you enjoy it:) If you haven't read The Trouble With Mistletoe yet, be sure to read that one first lol.

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  6. I actually like it when there's a snarky, ish person in a book. And, I'm with the others, now I'm wanting her book so she can 'change.'

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    1. I love you ladies-but it's just not on the release schedule lol. SIX Brookhollow books-that's it:) There's only so much I can do with a small town lol:)
      I think you will like book five then-Lindsay Harper's story where she redeems herself, but still remains true to her snarky, gossipy character.

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  7. sometimes I read reviews on my past two books and here words like 'I started crying 5% of the way in and the tears continued off and on throughout' or 'I cried for the entire last third of the book.' and I sort of cringe because I don't mean to make people cry, yet somehow I do! I don't know if that's a good or bad thing... but it's powerful to move people that deeply. Yet tears aren't the only way to have a deep impact. Making people laugh or swoon is so important because books are there to lift people up out of their daily lives as well. To give them hope. To think. To dream. and most of all- at least I think so- to feel. With your wonderful Brookhollow series, you have such a great opportunity to explore many different characters and emotions. I wouldn't hold back at all. Let the story guide you and the readers will love how versatile you are!

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    1. Thanks Karen! Yes, you are my test, as you are so good evoking tears lol, if you cry reading book three-I'll know I did it right:) xo

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  8. I think the greatest books are ones that give you a little of everything. Humor by itself is shallow, and grief by itself is overwhelming. I believe people need a mixture, a little laughter with the love, a little bitter with the sweet.

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  9. Sometimes I need a book to make me cry and sometimes I need one to lift me up with some humor. I think all emotion is good, it just depends on what you're looking for during that particular read. Sometimes I need a good cry and go searching out a book I know will give me one (John Green's THE FAULT IN OUR STARS was my last one! Oh my!) But I can't read sad books all the time, I'd be a mess! Looking forward to reading this story soon. I am sure I will be just as angry with Emily as everyone else is - can't wait!! :)

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  10. Wow, that's an interesting question. I'm reading everyone's responses to see how this turns out. I'm one for enjoying lightness and humor in the books I read (and write) but I think there needs to be a balance. Because after all, isn't our lives like that too? One minute we're up, the next we're down and on and on we go on this roller coaster.

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