We all tell ourselves many things. We all have an inner voice saying do it, don’t do it, just eat the cake, no think of your hips, kill the darling, no let it live. It’s the interior monologues we have with ourselves that can, if too loud become a form of madness. But we need to listen, even in the stillness of a quiet moment. See if you can capture this in your own writing.
When you write from the heart, when you step inside a character this is the voice you need to connect to. Creating an interior monologue, however softly you use it in your writing, creates that added dimension to the realism of a character.
When I look at someone’s work and it has far too much telling, far too much reporting how a character feels, I ask them to listen. I ask them to find the inner voice of that narrator. In our move away from the omniscient all-seeing narrator, in a world where contemporary literature demands a connection to a character, which for me is achieved with voice, we must not forget the inner voice. There is nothing more personal than connecting to the innermost fears and emotions of a character. And while I am not a fan of the long rambling stream of consciousness writing that can get in the way of story, just a poignant moment of expression, a single line where a character hears that inner voice, can really help the reader shed the last of their own skin and realise they have stepped into the world of the character. And for me that’s exciting.
So where does this rambling come from this morning? I suggested for writing group tonight, people write a letter to themselves as a child, you know the exercise, or create a fictional such account which to me creates the more interesting exercise. Imagine what Hitler would say to himself (would he change anything?), what about Kennedy, would he tell himself not to go to Dallas that day? Would you have gone to work at the Twin Towers on the day of 9/11? If you connect to an inner voice maybe you would. Maybe it is supposed to be the day you die and no one changes that. So there forms the thread of some ideas for short stories. Not that I’ve written this yet but I am temped to take a character from While No One Was Watching, perhaps even Eleanor Boone herself, and ask her what she’s write to herself. How could you do that with other fictional characters? Lots of food for thought?
Have a good day everyone.