Monday, April 29, 2013

Distilling Characters, Refining Emotions.

Today I was editing my book Spirit of Orn, and noticed something that I thought I'd share with you.

When writing a book, there is a distilling process that occurs through each revision, in which through refining a core message or emotion emerges from the text. If you read books penned by the classic authors like E.M. Forster or Joseph Conrad they possess a unique ability to draw out a complex bouquet of emotions using limited diction.

I think the key to doing this lies in what they assume the reader must feel about the character. If you think about it, after reading a 400+ page book, the main character is going to be extremely multifaceted. After all of his/her experiences the reader will discover that they are no longer paying attention to the actions of the character, but are implicitly reading into the character their expectations of how the character will act in certain situations given what they know now.

Going back to change or edit my book is no longer a question of deleting extra, superfluous details, but it's a matter of refining the experience the reader has with the character.

If a character is revealed to be a drunk, perhaps their drunkenness should be expressed not through drinking, but by their inability to come through with certain obligations.

Think about it.

Today was kind of short, but it dawned on me, this little tidbit.

See you Wednesday!


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