Portraying the emotion of curiosity

the word curiosity spelt on scrabble board looked through a magnifying glass

Emotions can’t be told. They have to be shown

#FeelLines runs every Thursday on Twitter. The weekly theme is based on an emotion. The aim is to show a line where a character in your writing expresses this emotion. 

Definition: curiosity (about something) | curiosity (to do something) a strong desire to know about something.

Expressing the emotion of curiosity

Ah! Something has piqued the interest of our main character, compelling them to investigate. 

Curiosity fuels plots

A curious mind goes places. Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s curiosity led down the rabbit hole. Curiosity leads Bathsheba to meet Sergeant Troy in the hollow amid the ferns in Far from the Madding Crowd. Curious characters will drive the plot. 

But curiosity killed the cat

The slasher horrors portray the pitfalls of a curious character. You know, that one itching to investigate the strange noise who goes outside alone only to meet a gruesome end.

Expressing curiosity 

How would a curious person feel? 
  • Compelled to investigate, ask questions, experiment and learn
  • Previous worries are no longer at the forefront
  • So engrossed they skip meals or sleep
  • Heightened senses
  • Mentally alert
How would a curious person react?
  • Leaning in
  • Rising on the balls of their feet to gain height and get a better look
  • Look up from what they are doing
  • Posture and mood immediately brightens
  • Eavesdropping 
  • Asking questions
  • Observing, touching, circling, talking about/to the object/person in question

Keeping in character

The character has to be curious for the right reasons in order for it to be believable to the reader. They must act in character. Let’s say the character has to visit an archaeological dig to continue the plot and we begin with this prompt.

I hear Emerson had some success in the recent trench he opened. Uncovered a number of artefacts but won’t say what they are. I think he’s struck more than gold.’
 
Does the character like archeology? Is it their profession too? Is Emerson a friend or rival? Maybe the character is a rich adventurer or an anorak on the subject. There needs to be a common interest (in this case, archaeology). The uncovered artifacts have piqued the character’s curiosity, compelling them to learn more.

I hope you can join in on #FeelLines and will be looking out for your entries every Thursday.

twitter #FeelLines hashtag writing game curiosity

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