On The Flipside Revisited

While we might want to streamline our action and cut out unnecessary toing and froing there are parts that require description. I once read a book [Title redacted for protection of the not-so-innocent] where there was a big build up to the character breaking through a magic door, there was a lot about how difficult […]

I Did it Because… Revisited

Another trap that can be easily fallen into when writing action of any variety is the urge to have a character explain why they’re doing something. Now, this isn’t inherently bad, we may for instance have Character A interpret Character B’s actions and say to them, ‘I think you did this because…’ while Character B […]

What Do They Think They Know? Revisited

If we assume that what characters see and hear are facts, they may not always be but we’re keeping it simple, then how they interpret the ‘facts’ is what they think they know. When we’re writing a first-person/subjective narrative then we have to remember that the ‘truth’ and what the character thinks is the truth […]

What Do They Know?

The depiction of the other characters and the environment all depend on what the narrator knows, or think they know but we’ll come to that. What they know depends largely on what they see and what they’ve been told by other characters. While I’ve discussed the idea that what every character tells them depends on […]

What’s Their Motive? Revisited

A first-person/subjective narrator always has a motive. As we discussed when a narrator learns things from other characters the story they are told affects what they learn. The same is true of the protagonist to reader dynamic. How a narrator wants to be perceived affects what they tell the reader and how they tell it, […]

Finding Their Voice Revisited

A first-person/subjective narrator needs their own voice. The easiest way to approach this can be to think about it the same way you would think about a character’s speech because that is essentially what they’re doing. Either they are speaking to the reader, or another character as we’ve discussed, or they’re writing it down. Whichever […]

Mentioning Memory Revisited

The internal monologue can also be used to fill in backstory and introduce memories. I list the separately because we can fill in backstory without showing memories or we can show memories to fill in backstory. When I say ‘show memories’ I refer to flashbacks rather than simply telling the reader about the memory. For […]

Gap Between Thought and Truth Revisited

As we’ve already mentioned when we’re using internal monologue we don’t have to be entirely truthful, this can be the gap between truth and interpretation, a selective truth or even an outright lie. Internal monologue may be assumed to be the truth on the basis that it is the character’s thoughts, but if internal monologue […]

How’d You Like The Wallpaper? Revisited

As we mentioned before internal monologue can relate to the character’s surroundings, it can prompt opinion, memory and sensory experience. Alternatively we can use internal monologue to prompt description of the surroundings. Writers have told me that they struggle with describing settings that are familiar to the character even before the story starts because they […]

The Grand Scheme Revisited

Some characters always have a plan, they’re always working out the angles, whether trying to work out what people are really thinking, watching the exits or figuring out the next con. This can all be included in an internal monologue, not necessarily all at once but we can build up the reader’s knowledge of how […]