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Conveying emotion can be a challenge when writing. For example, if your character is named John, you don’t want to say, “John is sad,” or “John jumped excitedly.” That’s, well, boring and weak writing.

This writing exercise can help you practice conveying emotion.

First, think of a situation your character might be in. For example, maybe they’re getting in a car to go somewhere or maybe they’re mom set them up on a date.

Then, list all of the details that you can describe and write at least three different descriptions of this event.

You’re going to write each of them using the same voice of your character, but never state the emotion that you are trying to convey. Try to show it through the details they notice and their feelings.

Show your character…

1) …excited to be getting in the car or going somewhere or on the date.

2) …pissed that someone is making them go.

3)…fearful that they don’t know where they’re going or who they’re meeting.

4)…grateful that they get to go out, regardless of where they’re going or who they’re with.

Share your top two favorites in the comments and see if your readers can figure out which voice is which. If they can’t, you might go back and revise. If they can, great job. You’re on your way to conveying solid emotion.