Meet My New BFF, INTERIORITY

Posted: June 1, 2010 in Uncategorized

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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Comments
  1. catwoods says:

    Hmmmm, just when I thought eating rolos couldn’t get any better…

    This is a great post and an awesome reminder of giving texture and depth to our characters and writing.

    Best luck on your interior edits!

  2. jmartinlibrary says:

    Thanks, Cat. This is definitely an area I need to work on. Good luck to you as well!

  3. Jemi Fraser says:

    Um… Rolo cookies? Excuse me…..

    Okay, now that I’ve bookmarked that… Great post! I think making that connection between the reader and the characters is the most important thing in the novel. Nothing (for me anyway) is more important. Thanks for the tips!

    PS – it must be so exciting to have agent notes!!! 🙂

  4. jmartinlibrary says:

    Jemi:

    I think you’re right. If I love a character, I’ll follow him or her anywhere!

    Notes? MK notes are right on target and make me laugh out loud sometimes. I know I have a lot to learn, and I’m excited to take it up a notch!

  5. Mary says:

    Wow. Your agent must be a freaking GENIUS to generate this great post on interiority. I wish I’d written it for my blog. 🙂

  6. jmartinlibrary says:

    Funny, you should mention it, but she kinda IS. Hehe. 🙂

  7. ChristaCarol says:

    Just a little jealous over here! 😉

    But yes, great post. And one with awesome timing. I’m working on a new WIP and this is just the reminder I needed.

    Also, I lost one of my teeth once in a Rolos! lol Suckers are CHEWY.

  8. Olleymae says:

    You’re sooooo right here. Interiority adds so much to the story and characters. Great reminder!! Thanks!

  9. Ann says:

    Great post! 🙂

  10. […] There are two great blogs I dredged up that address this subject. The first is from Mary at Kidlit.com. The second is at a new blog I found called Book Binge. […]

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