If a great book can stimulate none of these reactions in you, then OMG, somebody take a pulse.
So, given the emotional potential of the written word, imagine the force of those emotions on a writer as she creates a powerful scene. It can be exhilarating, stressful, overwhelming, exhausting. Anytime you stagger from the computer feeling drained or bounce away on your toes, you know the scene you just wrote is a keeper.
One of my highs while writing Grand Theft Equine was the scene where Joan and Brie are playing Topsy Turvy, a lesbian sim game that lets you cruise women in a leather bar. My partner kept coming into the room to make sure I was okay during that one, I was laughing so hard.
Then there were those two dark days when I had to write the loss of an animal. I nearly stopped. Almost couldn't go through with it. During that, my partner wasn't drawn to the room where I write, because there was only silence. But a few times during that couple of days, she'd look at me during dinner or something and say, "Are you okay?"
As wrenching as that scene was, though, it was cathartic for someone whose childhood pets were magically immortal. Purely out of love, and not realizing that children need to create their pathways to grief, my parents shielded us from the deaths of pets when my sisters and I were small. Dogs always "ran away." When our turtles died, my mom told us they jumped into the toilet while she was cleaning their bowl, and she was certain they swam straight to the river, where they were very happy to find their mother again. Yes, we were extremely gullible. To keep us from being sad over roadkill, they told us those were stuffed animals on the side of the road, accidentally dropped from windows of passing cars. For the longest time, I thought country kids must be awfully careless, because they seemed to lose a lot of their stuffed animals this way. And what was up with all the toy raccoons?
Anyway...I'd love to hear about scenes that you've had a visceral response to, either as a reader or a writer.