Every Sunday, the feature SHANNON MUIR’S MYSTERY OF CHARACTER on SHANNON MUIR’S THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF focuses on the art and craft of writing from Shannon’s perspective, or gives you insight on her process as an author.

This week features Shannon looking into the necessity of emotion in writing, not only for characters but for readers as well. 

This is a radically revised version of a past column that Shannon Muir did for a sister site.

Only a couple weeks into a New Year, talking about transitions – in life and in literature – seems a natural topic.

Transitions outline a passage of time; they let us know if days, months, or years have passed. Time can definitely affect character and story, as the character’s added experience over time usually affects perspective and viewpoint of the world. However, sometimes the whole point of a story may be a character that never seemed rattled by any changes around him or her no matter how great. Always consider the amount of time a story takes place in when reading or writing it, so that you build reasonable expectations of character progression.

Speaking of “transitions,” this column continues to evolve as it finds a regular home here on Sundays. There are only a few more weeks where you’ll see posts that update or merge topics I have done in the past. After that, it will be completely new content. So hang around for the transition and I hope you’ll enjoy this column every week.