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The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass

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Chapter 6

The Reader’s Emotional Journey

Certain moments in life are a sure bet for tears. Graduation, college send-offs, breakups, vows at a wedding, goodbyes at the airport, the death of a pet. These are transitions. A long span with a loved one comes to an end. A treasured time of happiness is over. Letting go is necessary, and maybe for the good, but it’s difficult. Why can’t things stay the same? Why can’t that which is beautiful and precious go on forever?

Other occasions are guaranteed to induce rage. Someone hurts your child. Your partner has an affair, or lies about one. You get ripped off. That conniving so-and-so at the office gets undeserved credit. An unjustified traffic ticket is awarded. Injustice is served. Blameless people undergo ...

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