Archive for June 1, 2010

Hello? Is there an echo in here?

So, yeah. I’ve been busy revising. I’ve learned a lot from my agent’s notes.

The biggest lightbulb moment?

The power of INTERIORITY.

in·te·ri·or

1. being within; inside of anything; internal; inner; further toward a center: the interior rooms of a house.

Even when writing in third person, interiority forges a connection between the reader and a character. Allowing the protagonist to interpret events makes a story stronger.

2. of or pertaining to that which is within; inside: an interior view.

Even in an action scene, don’t rely only on external markers, such as gestures. Don’t just tell the reader the protagonist “shrugged,” “smiled,” etc.  Clue the reader into the protagonist’s thoughts as they move through the story.

3. private or hidden; inner: interior negotiations of the council.

Interiority = insight. Filtering conflict, action and characterization through the mind’s eye of a character also makes the experience seem more real and compelling. You can also deepen characterization and tension through interiority.

4. pertaining to the mind or soul; mental or spiritual: the interior life.

Interiority makes us care about the story, its characters, and its world. A distant narrative is usually…well, distant. And that’s not usually what you want for your story, right?

Example

Without Interiority:

Al picked up the bat and swung at the Camaro’s windshield. After smashing up the front end of the car, he walked away.

With Interiority:

Al  picked up the bat and swung at the Camaro’s windshield. Big tough guy, huh? Did this loser really think he could slap around Al’s kid sister and get away with it? After smashing up the front end of the car, Al walked away.

Pop’s old Louisville Slugger sure came in handy.

Now, my examples aren’t the best in the world, but you get the picture, right?

Now go out there and amp up interiority in your novel!

Hungry for more?

Try this recipe for Rolo Cookies. They’re chocolate on the outside and full of yummy caramel on the inside, erm, interior.

Binge!
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