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Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Poignancy

Emotion Poignancy

When you want to write the emotion poignancy, it's important to "show" the emotion your character is experiencing through their physical reactions and dialogue, rather than "tell" it. In this article we provide you with inspiration so you can avoid showing emotions and immerse your readers in your story.

Poignancy is an emotion that describes a feeling of sadness or regret with a sense of nostalgia or bittersweetness. It is a complex emotion that involves a mix of sadness, longing, and appreciation for something that is lost or passing. A poignant moment can evoke a sense of deep emotional connection, empathy, and understanding in the reader, making it a powerful tool for creative writers to convey a character's emotional state and develop a compelling story.

  1. Different Types of Poignancy
  2. Situations Associated with Poignancy
  3. Physical Reactions to Poignancy
  4. Thoughts Associated with Poignancy
  5. Atmosphere of Poignancy
  6. Verbs Associated with Poignancy
  7. Emotions Before Poignancy
  8. Emotions After Poignancy
  9. Telling Poignancy Examples to Avoid
  10. Practical Examples of Showing Poignancy
  11. Exercises for Showing Poignancy

Different Types of Poignancy

Here are some different types of poignancy:

  • Bittersweetness
  • Nostalgia
  • Regret
  • Longing
  • Melancholy
  • Sentimentality
  • Pathos
  • Yearning
  • Resignation
  • Empathy
  • Sympathy

Situations Associated with Poignancy

Here are some situations where a character might experience the emotion of poignancy:

  • A bittersweet reunion with an old friend or lover after many years apart
  • Saying goodbye to a cherished place or object that holds sentimental value
  • Reflecting on past mistakes or missed opportunities
  • Witnessing a poignant moment between two strangers, such as a tender goodbye at an airport
  • Coming to terms with the reality of a difficult situation, such as a chronic illness or the end of a relationship
  • Remembering a loved one who has passed away
  • Realizing the fleeting nature of life and the importance of cherishing every moment
  • Nostalgia for a time or place that can never be recaptured

Physical Reactions to Poignancy

Here are some physical reactions a character experiencing poignancy might have:

  • Tears welling up in the eyes or spilling over
  • A lump in the throat or a tightness in the chest
  • A tremble in the voice or hands
  • A feeling of heaviness or emptiness in the stomach
  • A sense of longing or nostalgia
  • A tendency to reflect on the past or reminisce about memories
  • A desire to connect with others or seek comfort
  • A feeling of being moved or touched by something
  • A sense of vulnerability or fragility
  • A willingness to be open and vulnerable with others.

It's important to remember that not everyone may exhibit these physical signs and behaviors in the same way, and that the experience of Poignancy can be unique to each individual.

Thoughts Associated with Poignancy

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing poignancy might have:

  • Why did this have to happen to me?
  • I can't believe it's over.
  • I miss them so much.
  • I wish I had done things differently.
  • It hurts to remember the good times.
  • I feel like a part of me is missing.
  • I never thought it would end like this.
  • I don't know how to move on.
  • I wish I could go back in time.

Atmosphere of Poignancy

Here are some ways that you might reflect the emotion of poignancy in the atmosphere of your scene:

  • Use a location that evokes strong emotions, such as a childhood home or a place of great significance to the character.
  • Add elements of nostalgia, such as old photographs or mementos, to the setting.
  • Use weather and lighting to create a somber or melancholic atmosphere, such as a rainy day or dimly lit room.
  • Choose a time of day that adds to the emotional weight of the scene, such as sunset or twilight.
  • Incorporate music or sounds that enhance the poignancy, such as a sad song or the sound of a clock ticking.
  • Use sensory details, such as the smell of a familiar perfume or the taste of a favorite childhood food, to evoke emotions.
  • Have characters interact with objects or surroundings in a way that reflects their emotions, such as tracing a finger over a childhood toy or staring out a window lost in thought.

Verbs Associated with Poignancy

Here are some verbs commonly associated with the emotion of poignancy:

  • Stir
  • Touch
  • Move
  • Affect
  • Tug
  • Melt
  • Wrench
  • Pierce
  • Squeeze
  • Impress
  • Choke
  • Soften
  • Overwhelm
  • Conjure

Emotions Before Poignancy

Here are some emotions that may come before a character experiences poignancy:

  • Sadness
  • Melancholy
  • Nostalgia
  • Longing
  • Regret
  • Sorrow
  • Empathy
  • Compassion
  • Sympathy

Emotions After Poignancy

Here are some emotions that may come after a character experiences poignancy:

  • Nostalgia
  • Melancholy
  • Empathy
  • Compassion
  • Sensitivity
  • Contemplation
  • Reflection
  • Gratitude
  • Hope
  • Inspiration
  • Longing
  • Regret
  • Bittersweetness
  • Sympathy

Telling Poignancy Examples to Avoid

Here are some examples of telling the emotion poignancy in a sentence. You should avoid things like this:

  • My heart ached as I read the letter.
  • The scene was so sad that I felt a lump in my throat.
  • She was very emotional during the eulogy.
  • The music was so moving that I couldn't help but cry.
  • He looked at the old photo album and felt a pang of nostalgia.
  • The sunset was beautiful, but it made me feel melancholic.
  • The story was touching, but it didn't make me cry.
  • The character's backstory was tragic, but it didn't evoke any real emotion in me.
  • The dialogue was heartfelt, but it didn't make me feel anything.

Practical Examples of Showing Poignancy

Here are some examples of showing poignancy in a sentence:

  • She clutched the letter to her chest, tears streaming down her face as she whispered goodbye to her childhood home.
  • His eyes lingered on the empty chair at the dinner table, a painful reminder of the loved one who was no longer there.
  • The old photograph brought a bittersweet smile to her lips as memories of a simpler time flooded her mind.
  • The sunset painted the sky in shades of orange and pink, a beautiful sight that also brought a sense of fleetingness and sadness.

Exercises for Showing Poignancy

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing poignancy:

  • Start by defining what "poignancy" means to you and how you want to convey it in your characters.
  • Choose a scene where your character experiences a loss or a missed opportunity, and describe their internal thoughts and feelings.
  • Write a letter from your character to someone they have lost, expressing their emotions and memories.
  • Create a list of sensory details that evoke a sense of nostalgia or longing, and incorporate them into your character's surroundings or actions.
  • Explore your character's past experiences and relationships, and how they have shaped their current emotional state.
  • Write a scene where your character is confronted with a difficult decision, and explore the conflicting emotions they experience.
  • Use metaphor and symbolism to convey the emotional depth and complexity of your character's experiences.
  • Experiment with different narrative perspectives and voices to explore your character's emotions from different angles.
  • Read other works of literature that convey poignancy effectively, and analyze the techniques used by the author.

Want more help with showing emotion instead of telling? You find more help in our full emotions thesaurus.

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