1. Bookworm452
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    Bookworm452 New Member

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    Question about writing anger

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Bookworm452, Feb 22, 2015.

    I'm struggling to write anger from a 1st person POV. I've done a little research online but they haven't been helpful. I'm trying to write chronic and passive anger.
    Any advise?
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    What are you struggling with? Like, specific words to use, or how to blend it into the scene, or...?
     
  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Depends on the context and the character really and who he's angry at. Some people know that they can get away with more angry outbursts at a spouse or loved one but have to clam up at their job. Sometimes they find secret ways of releasing their anger by getting back at people through little things - like taking someone's parking space, hiding someone's toolbelt, posting something on the bulletin board at work. Things like that. All depends on what you're going for.
     
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  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Emotion amplifiers might be of help. Look at "Stress". It's not anger but it overlaps.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Your character could be someone who always sees the worst interpretation of everything, and who often takes things personally, even when they're not the least bit personal. I'd say that the character in the fragment in my post here would fit the chronic anger description, though it's perhaps a more cartoonish depiction than you'd have in mind:

    http://www.writingforums.org/threads/going-for-length.136420/#post-1296294
     
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  6. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Also consider the cause of the anger. In @ChickenFreak 's excellent example above, the anger seems displaced. The guy's chronic anger isn't really about bus shelters or little old ladies who don't complain about them. He's obviously bothered, but it's a general bothered, not a specific one. It's more a 'bad mood,' really. Whether the bad mood is constant or just intermittent depends on the story. We all know people who do this kind of thing. Heck, at times of my life I do it myself. That danged sheet that just won't stay tucked in. Shit, and as soon as I step outside the house it starts raining. Why can't 'they' design a better mousetrap, etc. That kind of thing.

    However, if the anger is focused—focused on a person or situation that the character truly does hate, or who has done them great wrong—then the outward manifestation of this anger may be different. In fact, it might be the opposite of the above complainer. The angry person might be totally unfazed by little things like bus stops, mousetraps, etc. Maybe less so than other people who don't have an overwhelming nemesis in their lives to focus on. So a person suffering deep anger might appear, on the surface, to be very calm. Then when the anger does emerge, it does so in an explosive way—maybe a shocking way, to anybody who doesn't understand the cause—rather than a constant niggling list of complaints.

    That kind of deeply angry first person POV character might make a remark or two (either to themselves or out loud.) Something like: 'So you get wet for a little while. Big deal. It's just a little water....' to somebody who is complaining about the lack of a bus stop. Something that indicates the POV character thinks there is lots more out there to be bothered about.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
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  7. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    I'd say describe his actions, as his actions are a good give-away of his mood. something such as "(Character) rolled his eyes and snarled at what had just gone on, not believing that (the action) had just happened again"
     
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  8. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Unless you are writing technical paper, it is hard to write convincingly about a raw emotion based simply on what others say or write.

    Examine your own feelings. Find things in your past (or present) that annoy or anger you and focus on how it made you feel. Then imagine feeling like that all or most of the time. When you have a good grasp of the feeling, then try to put what you feel down in words.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Reactions of other characters is a powerful addition to your writer's tool chest.
     
  10. Miracle_Boy
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    Miracle_Boy New Member

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    Write about how you feel from inside. How the anger is burning your heart, your soul.
    Write about how the anger is turning your hand into a fist.
    Write about how your breathing changes because of anger.
     
  11. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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    The book I'm working on now has an angry character with 1st person POV, and it's easy to understand your problem. In my character's case it's a deeply repressed anger that comes out pretty much everywhere and is often self-destructive.

    The thing I've learned you have to worry about when conveying this kind of emotion is providing the reader with a good enough reason for it, LOL. It is vital with difficult characters to make the reader understand them, otherwise their emotion makes no sense and could even have a negative effect on your story.:(

    In the case of my book, this is exactly what happened. I read a few chapters to a critique group and the character was so intense and SO angry, that it had the effect of frustrating several readers. After wondering how (or if) I should water down the character, someone explained that this wasn't necessary, I just had to provide an equally strong reason why she was that way. Because I hadn't provided enough information (hints, etc.) to explain her apparent insanity, the readers couldn't 'forgive' it.

    So in other words I think anger and intensity are fine (and can provide a great hook to your story), but you just have to balance it and make sure your character's emotions make sense;).
     

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