WRITING TIP: What not to do if you want to convey emotion

While researching the topic of storytelling, scientists discovered that some words and phrases have lost all storytelling power. “Some scientists have contended that figures of speech like ‘a rough day’ are so familiar that they are treated simply as words and no more,“ writes Leo Wildrich in The Science of Storytelling. According to Wildrich, the trouble with such cliches is that they don’t activate the frontal cortex, which is the area of the brain that lights up when we experience emotion. So if you want to convey emotion, make a point to eliminate cliches in favor of fresh, specific language.