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Monday, September 21, 2015

Raw vs. Subdued Emotions: Getting them Right in Your Story

Last week I talked about point of view penetration, and in that post I said that "Often I see writers who zoom in and zoom out of their character's viewpoint seemingly randomly. I'll see scenes written in distant third-person when it would be better in close third-person."

I pointed out that how deep you want to get into your character's viewpoint depends on the effect you want for your scene, what makes a better story, and how raw and tense the emotion is.

So today I'm going to give some pointers to help you discern when your character's emotions are (likely) raw or subdued.

Raw Emotions

Raw emotions are usually very intense. They're fresh, so the person feels them sharper, sometimes to the point of being irrational.

As human beings, we usually feel raw emotions in the moment. The temporally closer we are to the incident that incited those emotions, the more raw our emotions will be. If I just found out that a friend back-stabbed me, my anger would be sharp and somewhat uncontrolled (at least internally). But the next day, they will likely be more controlled, more subdued, as the situation "sinks in."

Here are some things to keep in mind to help:

The more severe the incident, the more raw the emotions.

The more unexpected the incident, the more raw the emotions. For unexpected incidents, people usually feel surprise or shock first. So, you might want to consider that when writing.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Point of View Penetration

Over the last few weeks, I've been talking about point of view. I talked about first-person, third-person, and then last week I talked about some ways to pick your viewpoint character for a scene. This post follows up on those. It's about point of view penetration.


In the fiction-writing world, the term "penetration" refers to how deep the narrator gets into the viewpoint character's point of view. (What is with some of the writing terms?) People usually use it in reference to third-person point of view. Many say that penetration, and its different levels, doesn't relate to first-person since in first-person we are always in the character's head, and therefore, we're always deep into their viewpoint. I'm going to argue against this somewhat, but first I'll talk about penetration in reference to third-person since that's how it is usually used.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

My Salt Lake Comic Con Schedule

Quick post to let you all know I got my Salt Lake Comic Con schedule! :) Voila!

September 24th, 4:00 p.m. -- Harry Potter is In Your Head (In the Best Possible Way)

Description: We look for the Hogwarts Express and Platform 9 3/4 at every train station and think each owl we see is delivering letters. How has Harry Potter changed the way we look at the world around us?

September 24th, 5:00 p.m. -- Taking a Story over 9000! How DBZ Took Over the World

Description: DBZ has been an international sensation, leading its creator, Akira Toriyama, to become one of the richest writers worldwide. Get a writer’s perspective on the storytelling techniques he used to skyrocket his tale into the next dimension.

September 26th, 6:00 p.m. The Lasting Power of Harry Potter

(No description up yet)

And I got tickets to meet the actors who play Fred and George Weasley!

So if you're at SLC Comic Con, feel free to say "hi." :)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Picking the Right Viewpoint Character for Your Scene

Hey guys, today I'm picking up right where I left off in my post about third-person point of view. If you didn't read that post and are just here to learn how to pick the right viewpoint character for a scene, no worries. I'll backtrack a bit. Last time I ended on writing in third-person limited, multiple viewpoints. I mentioned that right now a lot of people feel like you should only switch viewpoint characters between chapters (this goes for writing in first-person too). And others believe you should alternate chapters or cycle through viewpoints like this: