I get that way when I see swarming ants on TV, a really big spider outside (a really big spider inside spikes my adrenaline and throws me into fight or flights, so that is probably the only way I evade THAT one).
Does this have to do with being ticklish?
I mentioned this on my personal facebook profile, so of course my considerate friends add LICE to the mix.--now I'm not just itchy, but shuddering. I mean... ick.
Evil Tart SMITES your warning and carries on!
How is it we pass along these sensations in absence of the actual stimulus? Can we USE IT?!
The second scary book I read (right after The Shining) was Amityville Horror. It was one of those paperbacks with the pressed texture in the cover... you know what of? FLIES. I thought that was a FREAKING TERRIFYING book and I'm willing to bet the shivers from feeling those blasted flies on the book played no small part... that was one of the first signs of the house being haunted.... flies. They could hear them and couldn't find them. They would see ONE. They would see a COUPLE. Then something was covered in flies.
You SEE the build?—something has an eerie feel, then it keeps reappearing as a theme, each time bigger. Holy crap, I keep shuddering just remembering and I was 12. I can't even LOOK at the stupid book cover... (note though, that I am making YOU)
Stephen King does it in The Shining with both Jack (all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy) and Danny (Redrum). But I think the use in Amityville Horror strikes me so hard because... a fly, so what? I mean hearing voices and speaking in tongues (or whatever the explanation for Redrum is) isn't normal stuff. FLIES are normal (if repulsive). But add to it 'off season' and it becomes ODD. Just that. Making an ordinary thing ODD, makes it so the reader gets more and more creeped out, each trime they see it. That is the key... the reader isn't just READING it, they are FEELING it.
(So long as we're being evil and all...*shifty*) Longing? I've seen it with both longing for a person and a place... a lost dream—any emotion that can be heightened by a memory, really, which makes it a useful device for romance, chick lit, ALL of the darker genres. I've seen it in Sci Fi—it is different in a way—Ender's Game and the game he keeps trying to beat—we feel his obsession—he keeps coming back to it. That is handy there, as Ender isn't a kid who seems very NORMAL, so making us feel his feelings was a necessary step, and possibly one of the reasons Orson Scott Card has a broader readership than a lot of Sci Fi.
And Why be So Rotten to our Readers?
Because we CAN! BUWAHAHAHAHA Okay, and maybe so the triumphs our characters finally manage are ALSO felt—because being touched is what so many readers really CRAVE
But... Can't you tap emotion... NICELY?
NO! And stop asking! *squishes evil Tart back into her box* Honestly, I think you CAN. I think truly TOUCHING scenes tap emotion, but oddly, so does humor. I am, to this day convinced that the KIDS books I read that I loved so much I wanted to read over and over and over were because they were FUNNY. That is what a kid story offers the parent... The Series of Unfortunate Events and it's thirteen volume grammar joke—BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I LOVE those books, and it's not because the story is so great... but it is TOLD SO WELL!
She uses simple language and the EXTREMES of our emotion-- me giggling madly at the owl fest behind Vernon's back, and this orphaned baby—the tale of his parents' death... the contrast is amazing...
So how do all of you try to tap the emotion of your reader—suck them in so they don't just see it, but send them a shiver, or a tear, or a literal LOL? Any plans?