Thursday, July 30, 2015

Taking the Writers Hat off

We all wear different hats--you've heard this whole deal before, I'm sure. You have your Spouse/Child/Parent/Worker(day job) hats and your Writer hat. We LOVE/HATE the writer hat. But what I want to talk about isn't the writer hat, it's the CHARACTER hat.

Canda and I were sending out a novella to beta readers and one comment came back that suggests we really throw ourselves into the characters point of view. What would they really be doing in this scene or that one? How would it look? What would they think or say? 

While this sounds SUPER obvious, we clearly didn't do it enough because the beta reader was spot on when we went back and reread the scene. Our main character was heartbroken and it read more like she was slightly inconvenienced. OOPS! Once we rewrote it, there was solid emotion and you could anguish along with her. Sad readers because of sad characters? Perfect. 

Once we stepped out of author mode and looked at the situation as the character we could better connect the reader to the story. Which, after all, is kinda the point.

How do you remember to write with your Character's Hat on?


Canda said...

Unfortunately that isn't the first time a beta reader has clued us in to the spot the character hat is completely missing! Thanks for BRs. I think most of the time, I'm so worried to get the choreography right so a reader can really see what is going on, I forget the part about the reader needing to feel what's going on.

Cynthia said...

A hat is a good analogy for getting into character with our character. Even though I'm not my character, I try to share empathy with my character and imagine how someone who has been through what they've been through would make choices and perceive their world.