As a writer, infusing your work with sympathy and empathy is a significant part of developing relatable characters and believable situations.
Without them, stories are about as engaging as 60 Minutes to a 6-year-old kid.
Both emotions are grounded in compassion, but how does empathy differ from sympathy?
In short, having sympathy for another person amounts to expressing genuinely kind sentiments in the wake of a bad event. Showing empathy for someone is an act of service, typically rooted in shared experiences or emotions.
Below, we’re dissecting both concepts through a literary lens, complete with sympathy vs. empathy examples.