Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mini Writer's Workshop: A New Way to Look at Emotional Throughlines

My favorite lesson learned to date in Lauren Barnholdt's Writing the YA class comes courtesy of one of my classmates. In a recent post, she recalled advice gleaned from a Romance Writers of America session not too long ago. In the workshop, the leader described a unique way of keeping track a main character's emotional throughline from beginning to end.

To ensure each thread is carried through an entire book, the MC should carry the equivalent of a literary suitcase from one scene to the next. Each decision, worry, reaction, etc., that comes as a result of a scene or chapter, should be packed away into that suitcase, never to leave the MC's side.

Seems to me that a story with a weave this tight would allow a careful reader to explore any chapter, and come away with insights into the MC's emotional journey.

Very intriguing way to look at this concept.

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