Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Craftsmanship Part 4 #MFRWauthor #amwriting
Sometimes showing motivation for a character's particular action can't be done at that point. There can be ways around this. This happens when the viewpoint character isn't the one performing the action. Allow the person through whose eyes the scene is being shown be the one to speculate on what happened. "I wonder if she's thinking about being betrayed before. Those are harsh words." "Is he experienceing pain? that why he's saying those hurtful words?" Now those speculations may or may not be right but they allow the reader to join the speculation and to recall the other reveals about the character being viewed.
Another way when motivation would make for an awkward bit is to have one of the characters ask a question. This will allow the character to provide an answer that hits on motivation. "I won't go to the dance with him." "Why?" She thought marcy was head over heels about Bob. "I'm just his second choice and I'll never be second to anyone." Shows a lot about the character and motivations.
Adverbs are useful tools but used too often muddy the prose. They can become a habit that forms a patters. We've all seen this in dialogue where each character's speech goes something like this. He said laughingly. She sad sadly. He asked hurriedly. You get the picture. Sometimes using one of those ly words is what's needed
So one of the main partsof craftsmanship is being able to find ways to show the characters' motivations in various ways. That took me a long time to learn though sometimes I managed to do this without thinking. Ialso fell for the adverb trap but I've learned to use this like a bit of seasoning.