Fiction is a powerful weapon. With skilled hands on the trigger, a book can make a sad person happy, or the opposite. It can resurrect buried memories, make someone ponder the mysteries of life, satisfy a craving for romance or adventure, or even transport someone to a different world.
The question is, how can an author elicit emotions or reactions from readers?
A few ways come to mind. First, make sure the reader isn't thrown out of the story. Careful editing is essential to avoid the distraction of spelling, syntax, or common sense errors.
Next, think about how you'd like your reader to react to certain scenes. Make sure your character's body language and dialogue support the emotions you wish to convey.
Lastly, and this isn't always easy, become one with your character. Experience that person's joys, pain, or sorrows, as if they're your own, and share those feelings with the reader.
If you've read a book, old or current, which especially touched you in any way, please share it with us. Or, perhaps you'd like to offer another method to get a reader into a story.