Writing for Emotional Impact: Advanced Dramatic Techniques to Attract, Engage, and Fascinate the Reader from Beginning to End

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There are three kinds of feelings when reading a story – boredom, interest, and WOW! To become a successful writer you must create the WOW! Feeling on as many pages as possible, and this requires writing that engages the reader emotionally. In his best-selling 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters, screenwriter Karl Iglesias explored the working habits of A-list Hollywood scribes. Now, he breaks new ground by focusing on the psychology of the reader. Based on his acclaimed classes at UCLA Extension, Writing for Emotional Impact goes beyond the basics and argues that Hollywood is in the emotion-delivery business, selling emotional experiences packaged in movies and TV shows. Karl not only encourages you to deliver emotional impact on as many pages as possible, he shows you how, offering you hundreds of dramatic techniques to take your writing to the professional level.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: WingSpan Publishing; First Edition edition (October 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595940286
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595940285
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces

Customer Reviews

What’s Wrong With Easy Answers?

170 people found this helpful.
 on September 12, 2006
By S. W. Lewis
We tend to make esoteric things harder than they are. But the art of writing is really very Zen-like: You get to a point where you realize you were making things needlessly difficult.

An interesting perspective to write from

74 people found this helpful.
 on May 19, 2007
By Rodrigo Carranza
This book is about how to create emotional reactions in the audience.

A Gem of a Book

52 people found this helpful.
 on December 1, 2007
By Patricia Kay
I teach writing classes online — from month-long classes on different aspects of craft to intensive eight-week classes on novel writing. I bought this book because of its title. I have long been a proponent of the theory that the only reason we read or go to the movies is for the emotional connection that is made. This was the best $20 I ever spent. Iglesias explains emotional impact, both its importance, and the techniques you can use to create it and/or enhance it in language and examples you can understand. I have used the book as source material for varous parts of all my classes and it’s been invaluable as a teaching tool. I have discovered, though, that this is really not a book for beginners. First you have to know the basic craft of writing — whether you’re writing a screenplay or a novel. It’s only then that you’re ready for what Iglesias is preaching. The truth is, when I was a beginner, I wouldn’t have been able to use a lot of what he says because I wouldn’t have known enough to understand how valuable his suggestions are. I do wish I’d discovered the book years ago — when it would have benefited me through the writing of many of my own books — but since I didn’t, I’m glad I discovered it now, because it’s been a great help with my classes. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Solid Techniques

18 people found this helpful.
 on November 26, 2006
By Sylvania
Unlike many other books that I have read on the art of writing, this one does not play around with theory for 90% of the pages. This book offers solid techniques for delivering the writing we need to — writing that impacts the audience. It may be fine for some to write in a vaccum, but if you do not think of your audience as an essential piece to the puzzle than you will never be published. It is that simple. This book offers ways, and lots of them, to reach your audience emotionally. Loved it.

Distilling the Nuances of Screenwriting

11 people found this helpful.
 on January 4, 2007
By J. E. Gibbons
Mr. Iglesias wastes not a single word going about explaining in easy to follow brief snippets, what a movie character must evoke as he/she matures. If a movie does not create an emotional impact on its viewer; it has failed in the very essential element of moviemaking. Mr. Iglesias very convincingly goes about explaining how the writer may attain more emotional impact simply by prioritizing elements in the story telling. No mystery here, these are things every writer knows or should already know, like specificity, confrontation, redundancy. This book is empirical and in my judgment, simply one of the very best and simplest writing guides designed for the screenwriter. The book logically presents the raw elements of what makes, not only a good movie character, but any character of fiction, and makes the character compelling to watch or read about. This guide is essential for any serious writer of fiction. I have referred to this book quite as often as I do my dictionary. The emotional impact of the screenwriter’s effort is the chief vehicle by which a viewer interacts with a screen character and thereby receives that emotional satsfaction that decries: “That was a damn good movie!”

Character Journey vs Audience Journey – a must understand

8 people found this helpful.
 on September 9, 2009
By Reader 200
Fascinating book about writing. It’s not for the easily intimidated though. This book assumes a working knowledge of ARCs, Three-Act-Play, Character Development, Etc. It is written for screenwriters, although 99% o f the content applies to novelists as well.

I took Karl’s UCLA course on which the book is based

16 people found this helpful.
 on December 2, 2005
By H. Satterfield
Having already received my MFA from the American Film Institute, I was surprised at how much I learned about screenwriting while taking Karl’s class. Karl’s class — or book — (plus David Freeman’s Beyond Structure) would be the two MUST-HAVE courses for any screenwriter, seasoned or not. I’ve been waiting for the book for over a year.

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