Thursday, March 31, 2011

Layering your writing

One thing I've learnt in the publishing industry is that you never stop learning and improving. If you think you've reached your apex, get off the boat now. You're not going to become a better author.

Something that I've been working on for a while has been layering. Some of the critique I received from a literary agent and some of my betas is that they wanted to care more about my characters, and that I need to find a way to get readers deeper into these characters' mindsets. But how?

Some of my fellow crit partners have also had similar feedback from their editors. I've struck on a method I'm going to try to see how it works for me but first I'm going to share a little secret.

We interact with our world in three main ways: emotionally, physically and intellectually. When you revise, show, don't tell your readers how your character feels about others, herself, her environment, her hopes... about the music she hears floating across the garden at night. Add colour by showing her world, the hues of the flowers, what the cocoa smells like, the way her lover's hair feels when she tugs her fingers through it... How does your character think about her past, present and future? She doesn't just stomp through life but she thinks about the world within and without. And these thoughts effect her actions.

Emotions, the physical and intellect ineract with each other to create a cohesive experience. Granted, you don't smoosh them all up in EVERY pargraph, and there are times when you need to trust your dialogue to progress the plot... but consider your layering and use these three aspects of Self to explore your world and your character.

Allow your story to flow through each method as a filter as such. As for how I'll be approaching my edits. I've decided to do an editing round with each aspect in mind for my next project, an urban fantasy novella entitled What Sweet Music They Make. And I'm quite looking forward to this as an exercise. **cracks knuckles**

1 comment:

Carolyn Arnold said...

Great post BTW, and definitely something that we need to keep in mind.

Also, to the ladies of this blog, I have awarded you a blog award. come here to view, and claim it :)