Mastering the Essential Story Emotions: How to Seduce the Reader

Mastering the Essential Story Emotions: How to Seduce the Reader

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Imagine sitting in a theatre after seeing a terrible film. As the end credits roll, the director and writer rush on stage to defend their work over the crowd’s booing—“But we read all the books, taken all the seminars… We followed all the rules and principles of the hero’s journey… We structured it well, had all the plot points at the right timing… We even had the hero save a cat, for crying out loud! What’s wrong with you?!” Silly, right?

But this is the mentality of most aspiring writers who ignore the one unshakable truth of storytelling: “It’s not about what happens to people on a page; it’s about what happens to a reader in his heart and mind.” In other words, it’s all about engaging the reader emotionally. That’s what craft is all about.

A story is a dance of reader emotions. The more felt, the more satisfying the story. And it’s your job as a writer to know not only what these emotions are but how to create them on the page on a consistent basis. Otherwise, the reader is bored and frustrated instead of entertained, and that’s it. Game over.

Join award-winning UCLA instructor Karl Iglesias in this OnDemand webinar as he explores the psychology of the reader, and demystifies once and for all what it means to tell a story well. Going beyond the basics, he’ll show you how to seduce your readers, force them to turn the pages to see what happens next, interest them so intensely that they are “taken out of themselves” into the world you’ve created. The ideal is to make them forget they’re actually reading words on a page. You’ll be challenged to view your script not as a 110-page blueprint for a film or TV show, but as the promise of an intense and satisfying emotional experience.

After all, “screen” writing is easy: You just write 110 pages in proper script format with slug lines, description, and dialogue. But writing to keep readers interested and moving them emotionally is another challenge. It's not about plot points; it's not about character; it's about EMOTION!


  • How story emotions are universal, not genre-specific
  • How to avoid being boring on the page
  • How to get attention on the page and keep the reader’s eyes glued to the page
  • How to build an emotion-based outline
  • The five needs of the reader that must be satisfied in a story
  • The three types of reader emotions
  • The crucial difference between character emotions and reader emotions
  • Why stories are emotion machines


  • Writers, directors and producers who want to understand how to engage an audience
  • Writers who struggle with script rejections
  • Writers who want to entertain the reader
  • Writers who seek new techniques to take your writing to the professional level
  • Writers who want to get more knowledge about the craft
  • Anyone with an interest in the art and craft of storytelling

Karl Iglesias is a screenwriter and sought-after script doctor and consultant, specializing in the reader's emotional response to the written page. He is the best-selling author of Writing For Emotional Impact and The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters.

The Writers Store does not offer any refunds for the webinar. All sales are final.