I was looking over this week's class on Creating a Character and found my instructions for students to write "fast" by revealing their characters through their
Besides teaching, I am also deep into the second draft of my historical young adult novel, Half-Truths. I am fortunate to have Rebecca Petruck as a writing coach; she consistently pushes me to reveal who my characters are.
|Rebecca & I recently talked shop|
at the Whole Foods in Wilmington, NC
In my opening chapter I had written a scene where Lillie, my protagonist, overhears her grandmother's employers arguing with one another. I had written:
I could have slapped myself "upside the head" (as a character in my book might say). I had forgotten the "T" in FAST. In fact, there wasn't much "F" (feelings/emotion) in this snippet either!
Several rewrites later, this passage now reads:
I thanked Rebecca for helping me to instill more internalization in my story and she wrote back:
"I think calling it internalization isn't really correct because it is a very active connection with the protagonist--we are in her mind, trying to process the world, understand the why of things. That's where the story is for us, much less so than the actual stuff that happens."
Along with providing helpful insights into my manuscript, Rebecca encouraged me to read Wired for Story by Lisa Cron, retyping sections of other books in a similar genre, and reading when the Show, Don't Tell rule may be broken.
I have learned a great deal working with Rebecca from her critiques as I write, revise, and write again. (Here is a helpful handout from Teaching the Story that demonstrates the revision process.) Her suggestions reminded me of to Lorin Oberweger's handout on Deep Point of View that was part of the Your Best Book packet. And a recent post on Janice Hardy's blog, also offered excellent advice on how to include internalization in your story.
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