So when he found himself struggling to evoke emotion in his writing, it seemed natural to turn to that classic for lessons.
Grinnell came up with seven tactics for opening up your readers’ tear ducts:
1. Positive moral judgments about the protagonist
2. A protagonist who wants something really badly
3. A protagonist who pursues their desires
4. A protagonist who never gives up
5. Characters who do the right thing
6. The benefits of sorrow
7. Characters helped by unseen hands
He examines how Where The Red Fern Grows uses these strategies and explains them further at Writer’s Digest.