Emotion in Ink

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I’m beginning to get some feedback from my Beta Posse, and the first thing to come up is a problem that I’ve had flagged before. When I’m writing, I see the scene very clearly and so the visual text is good. What’s lacking is the depth of emotion behind it. It’s not that the characters are lacking in emotion, but I tend to focus on the physical at the expense of the internal.

The book is written entirely in first person, so introducing internal monologue is very easy and redressing the balance should be pretty simple. After all, I know what my characters are feeling, right?

Except that this has thrown up a piece of research that it never even occurred to me to do. The central focus of the story is the narrator’s relationship with her brother, which in part arises out of an almost criminal level of neglect by her parents. I moved onto the main relationship pretty fast, but actually it’s important to establish the impact that neglect would have on the narrator. And, coming from a very stable background with wonderful parents, I frankly have no idea.

So I’m turning to you lot for advice. Where is a good place to look for details on this kind of emotional development? Are there any books that do it well that you would recommend?

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2 responses »

  1. It’s a bit off the wall but you could trying reading The Flint Street Nativity. It’s a script not a book (don’t watch the televised version instead – it’s not the same). It’s quite simplistic in many ways but it does a good job of giving some insight into how the way a child’s parents act affects who they are. Wouldn’t be something you could directly emulate in your book but might provide some inspiration…

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