Created By: ParkourPaisho on December 10, 2011
Nuked

Feel Angry Now

Bad Writing: An author assumes the reader feels the same emotion the character does.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
"I made mistakes in drama. I thought drama was when actors cried. But drama is when the audience cries."
Frank Capra

Some authors make the deadly mistake of assuming that if a character is feeling an emotion, the reader automatically does, too. A Show, Don't Tell sister trope to That Makes Me Feel Angry, but instead of the characters saying they're feeling an emotion, the characters wildly act through the the emotion, trying to evoke the same emotion in the reader.

It's a common misconception in writing that the reader shares in the emotions the character is going through. Little does the author know that the emotions of a character and the reader are intrinsically separate. Bob can be walking on sunshine right after he shoots his son's dog, but needless to say the readers are weeping their eyes out. Carol can descend into an unfeeling catatonia after being struck on the head, but the readers are riled up into an Unstoppable Rage at the perpetrator. The Big Bad may burst into tears right after the Crowning Moment of Awesome, yet the the audience cheers with euphoria.

  • Characters who are sad don't always cry.
  • Characters who are crying are not always sad.
  • And how the reader's heartstrings are tugged is a different matter entirely.

Good Writing tip: Your characters are free to feel whatever they want; the emotions of the reader is determinant upon the surrounding circumstances, the consequences, how engrossed they are in the story, how deeply they care about the characters, and, of course, how well written the story is. You have to work to evoke emotion.

For related tropes, check out Bad Writing. It will tell you all you need to know.

As this is Your Milage May Vary and an Audience Reaction Trope, examples are subject to subjectivity.
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • June 19, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump?
  • June 19, 2014
    DAN004
    Well... so how something would count as example?

    I believe Angst Dissonance is a subtrope here: "the audience doesn't share the characters' angst".
  • June 20, 2014
    Larkmarn
    This is kind of nonsensical.
  • June 20, 2014
    TheHandle
    No it's not. It makes perfect sense. It just needs to rewritten to fit our standards. But the idea is sound.
  • June 20, 2014
    Larkmarn
    So please explain it to me. Because as written, I cannot figure out what it's trying to say. My best guess is it's Intended Audience Reaction, but complaining. Except the "examples" aren't even really that, they seem like People Sit In Chairs as it doesn't seem like the author even intends audiences to have the same reaction. Of course the audience doesn't feel the same as the characters... that's just a given.
  • June 20, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ this sounds like an advice more than anything else. Cuz we can't see the effect just by looking upon the work in question - we have to look at fellow audiences.
  • June 26, 2014
    tryrar
    ...I can't parse for the life of me what this is supposed to be. MTD added
  • June 26, 2014
    Statzkeen
    This makes sense as a concept, but I don't see how things are specific examples of this as a trope.
  • June 27, 2014
    Arivne

  • June 27, 2014
    MorganWick
    Worth noting that the OP is from 2011 but was never replied to at all until now. Current title makes me think of a twist on That Makes Me Feel Angry.
  • June 29, 2014
    tryrar
    ^given that, and the fact it's racking up MT Ds like no tomorrow, I'll go ahead and chuck this
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=uypuuqwv14q7du5s8148opaf&trope=DiscardedYKTTW