Posted on 07/06/2018 at 11:47 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Where the Red Fern Grows made author Dustin Grinnell (and many, many other people) cry.

So when he found himself struggling to evoke emotion in his writing, it seemed natural to turn to that classic for lessons.

Grinnell came up with seven tactics for opening up your readers’ tear ducts:

1. Positive moral judgments about the protagonist

2. A protagonist who wants something really badly

3. A protagonist who pursues their desires

4. A protagonist who never gives up

5. Characters who do the right thing

6. The benefits of sorrow

7. Characters helped by unseen hands

He examines how Where The Red Fern Grows uses these strategies and explains them further at Writer’s Digest.

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Categories: Behind the scenes

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