We all get this feeling. Just looking at the picture starts a shiver going down my spine. But it’s not just the chalkboard that does it. It’s different for everyone, those things that grate on our nerves. For me it’s the shrill and uncontrolled laughter of pre-teen girls. Live with a few of them and you’ll quickly see what I’m talking about. For others it could be crinkling foil, or the squeal of bad brakes. And it isn’t just sounds. Have you ever bitten down on your fork or spoon in just the right way? Yeesh!
Perhaps you could share some examples that make you want to scream, but my real question is this. Can one invoke that sensation with the written word? You might ask why. Who wants to read something like that? The answer is that we all do. Good writing takes you out of your comfort zone. It is useful to be able to bring about negative feelings in the reader, if only to offer a counterpoint to the elation you plan to offer as the payoff. I’m not just talking about discomfort. We often want to make the reader experience pain, anxiety, sorrow, hopelessness. In fact these things are more important than all the happiness and joy you might try to spread with your pen. we all know that adversity is what makes engaging fiction. How much better it would be if you could make your reader feel that adversity deep down in their gut.