Some of my favorite stories send shivers through my body every time I reread them. For example, "Bullet in the Brain" by Tobias Wolff, "The Third and Final Continent" by Jhumpa Lahiri, and the end of "Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel García Márquez.
I don't know the biological cause of this, but it feels transcendental. I do know I have never written anything that has given me the chills, so I am wondering if it requires an element of surprise, or if my writing hasn't reached that level.
Is there a formula to produce chills?
EDIT: Apparently the phenomenon is called "frisson" and is well known in music. It has been tied to specific frequencies that are similar to the range of a human scream. See The Science Behind Getting “Chills” From Music. From what I've found, there are few studies about frisson and literature.
My question now is how can reading (often done in quiet solitude) evoke a biological response, and how come some writers have it and others (apparently) don't?
I realize this may be subjective, but if (in my opinion) good writing evokes emotion (a biological response) what "tools of the trade" are available to evoke frisson (another biological response)?