Sad, happy, jealous, excited, sympathetic, regretful, grateful, angry, alarmed... human beings experience a wide range of emotions. When you include many various feelings in your writing, it will strengthen the characters and the reader's interest. Here's the problem:
How do you describe emotions?
The obvious answer is to just say, "He was irritated," or "She was proud." That's well and good for the main character (albeit a bit bland), but what about the other characters? You MC doesn't know whether her sister is really irritated; she has to either guess, or the writer has to head-hop (switch to another point of view in the middle of a scene).
We've all heard "show not tell," but it's easier said than done. Here's some advice:
For practice, look over a chapter you've written and cut out every single "emotion" word. All of them. You can no longer say a person was bored, or disgusted, or annoyed.
Now think back on your experiences with people. Let's say your husband came home from work stressed. How do you know he's stressed? Are you psychic? No; you're human, and you understand our signals.
Perhaps you cut the word "confused" out of your chapter. Now you have to say how the narrator knows the person is confused. Example:
- She scrunched her eyebrows together and tipped her head to the side.
- He looked from one person to another, back and forth, with a blank look on his face.
- Her eyes were wide and she made several attempts to speak, but no words came out of her twitching lips. She shook her head.
These are different types of confusion. We can actually understand the emotion better if we read how the character expresses it. Readers are also drawn into the scene more if they can visualize what's happening. And, since your narrator isn't usually isn't a mind reader, it makes more sense.
Many writers tend to describe an emotion, then wimp out and say what it was they just described. Example: "She bit her lip and tapped her finger against her jaw, thinking." Or, "His face turned red and he clenched his fists, clearly upset."
If you feel yourself doing this, it's either because 1. You're new at this and still unsure of yourself, or 2. The description wasn't strong enough to convey the emotion.