Saturday, February 25, 2012

Emotion in Writing, Part 3: Love and Hate

In Part 1 of this series I talked about the power of emotions and why they are important in writing. In Part 2 I talked about Pain and Joy. Now I would like to talk about the two emotions that bind people and characters together - Love and Hate


In my opinion - love is the strongest emotion out there. Under its influence people do the most amazing things. There are many different levels and kinds of love. Family love, romantic love, friendship, caring.

Love forms a bond between two people. I also think that once this bond is formed - it can never be broken. Although it might change its nature.

Love is a very powerful tool in writing. It can cause the pain or joy in our characters lives that draws are readers in. It is also an excellent motivator. Take Harry Potter for example - can you think of how he was motivated by love even in the first book?

I will give you a second to think about that.

Okay, times up. Harry felt unloved. In the new world that opened to him in Hogwarts - he continually tried to fill that void in his life.


Hate is second only to love, in my opinion. In fact, when love sours it turns into the most intense kind of hate. Going back to love forming bonds - if there is a love connection of some kind between to people and that turns into hate - the bond is still there it is just different.

Think of what kind of story you could build around that. Take two mortal enemies and trace their story back to the point where they once loved each other. This is not a new formula - it has been used many times. But the possibilities are still endless.

Often, we (or at least I) tend to think of hate being ascribed to our antagonist. They are the bad guy after all. But just like love is a powerful motivator - so is hate. Hate can drive a person to do many things. I bet you can already think of several examples in books you have read.

How do you use love and hate in your writing? Have you read anything that utilized these two emotions in a surprising way?


  1. I definitely use love in my writing! One of my books is called "To Love Without Hope", lol. It's very much about the love relationship that Sophie develops with Matt and Jordan, even though she thinks that they will die. There's also hate. She hates her father and her kidnapper. Lots of emotional baggage with her character. Great post! I really love this little series about emotions in writing. :)