This is my first post on the ANWA blog, so I thought I'd tell you a little about myself. Most of what can be said about me can be told in a few bullet points, so here we go:
- I'm thirty-six, married, and a mother of four
- I have a BA in English from BYU
- I served a mission in Florida (met my husband there-- that story deserves more than just a bullet point though, so I'll have to tell it another time)
- I worked in the political arena before I had kids, including doing an internship in D.C., being a press secretary for a Congressional campaign, and working for the AZ House of Reps. I actually wrote a speech for Senator Bennett that's on U.S. congressional record-- so technically I've already been published, right? (Don't answer that) But if you ask me anything about politics now, don't be surprised if my eyes glaze over and I mumble nonsense. I'm woefully uneducated at the moment.
- I have always loved writing, though I've not always wanted to write fiction, that desire has only come about in the last couple years. (Another story that deserves more than a bullet point). I strongly believe, however, that there are a million creative ideas out there and the difference between a published and unpublished idea often comes down to learning the craft of writing.
Ever skimmed a paragraph of internal monologue? So have I. Sometimes when we're writing our character's thoughts and feelings, we use 100 words to say something that could have easily been said with ten. Or we restate. Or we say the same things again, just using different words (did I already say that?)
So how do we avoid these flaws and keep our internal dialogue (also called exposition) interesting and full of micro-tension? Here are some of his tips- again in bullet points:
- Find a passage of exposition in your manuscript.
- Identify the primary emotion in the passage, then write down its opposite.
- Look for what the character is thinking, summarize the main idea in her mind, and then find a conflicting idea.
- If the passage involved mulling over something that happened earlier, find something about the prior occurrence that your character failed to notice or realize, raise an unasked question, or answer what new reasons your character has to feel uneasy, anxious, or in danger.
- Without looking at your original draft, rewrite the exposition using conflicting emotions or warring ideas. Make the contrast strong and add fresh questions and worries.