Thursday, July 18, 2013


As writers we all know the saying, "show don't tell." But until just recently I had never heard of the term "interiority." This is where as writers we let our readers into the minds of the main character speaking. I first learned about this term while reading Writing Irresistible KidLit by Mary Cole and thought to myself, "well yeah, of course we should be doing this in our stories."

Then I sat down with my very first manuscript the other day. My goal was to skim through and see if it was at all salvageable. As I was reading short passages I realized that there are some spots where I don't explain everything my main character is thinking or feeling. This is where I need to add some interiority in. I need to get into her mind and heart and bring those thoughts and feelings out more. I need to help my readers understand my main character better, and it helps with bonding as well. And no, I'm still not sure if that manuscript is going to eventually become something better. I still need time to think that through and brainstorm it more.

Interiority came up once again at our last critique group meeting as well. While I was critiquing a piece there was one spot where I kept wondering what is he thinking about x, y, and z? The main character's going through these motions, but I was missing out on why? And what about the other things that had been so prominent prior to this section? All of this was a result of switching from telling the story from one point of view to another. She was aware of this and knew she needed to add in more. This is much what my first couple drafts tend to look like as well. I have a tendency to leave things out with the hope of fleshing it out in a future draft. And both too much telling and the lack of interiority have a tendency to slip into these early drafts. 

So, while we need to balance our telling and showing, we also have to balance our character's actions with what they are thinking, what they are felling, and why they are taking those actions.

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