I often wonder what is the reader’s view of the characters actions and thoughts when they read my books; does what I intend come across clearly, do the reader’s feel the pain, sense the sadness, appreciate the anger of what the characters are experiencing?
My intention in my writing of interior dialogue and description is to bring alive the characters, making them real and causing a resulting reaction to the reader – love or hate, empathy or disgust. Emotional reaction real enough to cause the reader to think about the situation, even learning about human nature. After all each of us have reactions that are meaningful to us, according to our own lives experience – forming our personalities and making us who we are. I believe books add to this, by dramatising situations and making our readers think deeply; sometimes bringing positive change to our reader’s lives.
For a number of years I have learned from various authors and coaches, attempting to hone my writing skills. Mary Carroll Moore is one writer and teacher. Her recent blog hits the mark, explaining clearly how I as a writer, can achieve my aim which is to bring inner revelation and reflection to my readers in my Historical novels, inciting responses that may or may not bring understanding of reader’s own lives.
Extracts from Mary Carroll Moore from her blog are included in this post.
I hope you find this incite full as you write your novels and read my books.
What are Interiority or Internal markers?
“Interiority or “internals” is a fancy way to describe the reader’s view into your characters’ thoughts, feelings, and inner lives. Some genres require a lot of this (memoir), some much less (thrillers). Interiority is what makes a character real to the reader. Skilled writers reveal interiority in several ways. It’s important to know what your genre requires and how to plant and build the interior lives, without having them slow the momentum of the story.”
(Direct quote from the blog quoted above by Mary Carroll Moore)
Mary suggests that by creating a chart of Interior or internal thoughts as markers when reflecting on your manuscript, it is easier to see whether you have successfully shown the emotional triggers and responses you may be looking to create.
What is an Interiority markers Chart?
- The Chart might be as simple as a page number and interiority marker – dialogue
- Do this by reading aloud the book and noting on a chart the interior dialogue, including body sensations.
“Markers could be something like “I felt the sting of tears but swallowed hard and made my voice as casual as possible.” That’s interiority via a body sensation (feeling sting of tears) and a gesture (swallowing hard and casual voice).
Another marker might be interior monologue, which is more direct thought or feeling, like “I hated her in that moment.”
Each of these lines or incidences goes on the chart. After I finish, I have a list–a kind of map of the interiority in the book.
Then analyse the progress of the narrative arc, if the inner life grows and changes, or where it stalls out or disappears. ” (quote – Mary Carroll Moore)
- Look for _
Did my characters anguish really come across in that scene?
Did I feel a response and begin to make a connection with the character?
“What is the extent to which I should make my narrative arc explicit?” (Quote -Mary Carroll Moore)
- If I include the gestures, body sensations, and reflections of my characters thoughts or feelings in the setting, plus enough interior monologue, can I assume the reader will be able to see my characters progress through the story?
- Have the relationship struggles become real ?
- Are the situations being experienced becoming more realistic and understandable?
- Is the reader able to understand how life was at this time in history and see how his or her present emotional responses may have derived from such a background?
- An emotional response is better than no response. After all, why read a novel if it hasn’t any effect on your life?
“Each of these lines or incidences goes on the chart. After I finish, I have a list–a kind of map of the interiority in the book.” (Quote -Mary Carroll Moore)
I am encouraged when receiving reviews and comments that enable me to see I have achieved my aim of bringing the emotional and internal dialogue alive. Please don’t hesitate in commenting so that I can better hone my writing.
A picture tell a thousand words …
After the house fire
… and authors must become better at showing the picture.
Interior monologue that brings sensations of goose pimples and emotional reactions for me is the essence of strong writing – creating a hard to put down book..
Do you agree?
Happy writing and reading, friends,
Glennis Browne – author of “The Fortune Seekers” Novels.
and also republished as “Journeys of the Fortune Seekers’ by Annie Browne 2019.
(All quotes have been printed in full from Mary Carroll Moore’s blog – Dec 13 2019