One Writer’s Journey

November 13, 2014

Character Emotion: Indirection of Image

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:44 am
Tags: , ,

Check out John Thornton Williams post on Glimmer Train.

I’ve written before about character emotion and using a scene to demonstrate how a character feels.  In short, this means that instead of writing “Pablo was happy,” you create a scene that shows Pablo being happy.

Easy enough.  (Snort! As if.)

In his post “Indirection of Image,” John Thornton Williams challenges us to consider and show for our readers how the character’s emotion impacts how he reacts to a specific setting or image.  Think about it, a character who is entering a hospital for a birth will observe and interact with the hospital in one way.  A character whose infant is in neo-natal ICU will have yet a different experience.

Now think about your current project.  Pick a scene with a memorable setting.  How does your character’s emotional state influence what he observes and does within this setting?

Once you’ve found a scene, read over it and then open a new file.  Create another scene in this same setting but swap your charater’s emotion 180 degrees if possible.  If your character is elated in the scene in your story, have him interact with this scene when he is despondent.  If he is angry, create a delighted scene.  If he is sorrowful, rework it with gleeful.

Once you’ve done this, take a look at the setting details.  How your character sees the setting should vary somewhat depending on his emotional state.  If that isn’t the case, spend some time playing with your charcter and get to know how he reacts as a result of various emotions.




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