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Question about characters thoughts

PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:43 am
by roda havet
Is it okay to make a full chapter focused on one character's thoughts after a tragedy happens or at least about half the chapter? :)

Re: Question about characters thoughts

PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:23 pm
by ostarella
Obvious answer - it depends. :? So some questions to ask yourself:

How long is the chapter, for one thing. Very few people want to read pages and pages of inner angst.

At what point in the story does this occur? If it's at the beginning, we probably aren't going to know that character well enough to care. (And hopefully it's not simply a way of slipping in an infodump on the character ;) .) But if it's into the story so we have gotten to know them, you could probably go a little longer, because we should have built an interest in them by then.

How much angst are you intending to put into those thoughts? Self-pity, self-doubt, guilt - all those things are usually best served as appetizers, not main courses. Now, if you're going for analysis - what went wrong, why - or planning revenge, that will give you a little more leeway, and allow for tossing in a bit of angst along the way.

Consider listening to a friend's woes. You can do that for so long and then you start thinking, Just stop already and DO something about it! And I think we have even less patience with total strangers. Your characters are somewhere in the middle - not quite "friends" but definitely not strangers. So bear that in mind - at what point would YOU expect them to quit thinking and start acting? Where in other authors' works did you start getting impatient?