Monday, April 11, 2011

♥.•*¨I is for . . .


Internalization!--or getting  into the character's head.

Tell me if you notice the differences between the two paragraphs below (excerpt from my novel, Rock Star). Two brothers are about to head onstage for their show, groupies high in the POV's head as they discuss their childhood tragedy:

I wish.” He lowered himself  into the swivel  chair. “What do you think Dad was thinking?” He huffed. “Leaving matches within my reach? I mean, c’mon! You just don’t leave matches there for a kid my age then.” He swallowed hard.
I wish.” It amazed him how Zag read his  mind. He lowered himself  into the swivel  chair, and dismissed  girls from his thoughts. “What do you think Dad was thinking?” He huffed. “Leaving matches within my reach? I mean, c’mon! You just don’t leave matches there for a kid my age then.” A twist  in his throat. He wished Zag wouldn’t diss  his  pain.

Which one feels involved? Realistic? I've read books where I felt so left out--a mere observer. I had a hard time connecting with the MC. But too much internalization can be dangerous. Have you heard of infodumping? Yep, thought so.

 What's your take on this facet of writing?


  1. I like the first paragraph better. It leaves me enough to imagine this character's feelings and dilemmas. It shows rather than tells! It makes me what to discover his personality even more.

    Thanks for sharing these clips and thanks for a very thougthful post too! Take care

  2. Me? I like the second version. I feel like I'm more inside his head.

  3. I prefer the first version. The bit about dismissing girls from his thoughts came out of nowhere and sounds a bit cliche. The first one is tight and has just enough info to hook you in. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Sometimes I get into a character's head...and I can't get out. It's like that commercial "I've fallen and I can't get up..."

    : )

  5. I prefer the second. I could take the first in doses and be fine, but if an entire novel played out like that...I'd be disappointed. I want a book to play in my head like a film, to get lost in it..escapism. The second paints a better image. However, you're right...there is a such thing as "too much", and that can ruin a story as well.

    Great post!

  6. I like the first best, too. The second tells you more, as a stand alone para, but I guess, in the context of the actual book, the first would be more intriguing, and the details in the second would be learned, at some point, anyway?
    Thanks for thought provoking post :-)
    All best

  7. Yup, the first. I feel more like I'm there.

  8. I'm really trying hard to get more into my character's mind, because sometimes I stray. Sometimes my mind strays as well...

  9. I'm thinking that it's all a matter of preference. When it comes down to it, write what's in your heart, the editors at your publisher will take out what works for them. :)


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