Monday, March 5, 2012


No, not the car company. Instead something about writing.

An editor from Virginia called me last week and raked me over the proverbial coals for having a narrative voice too distant from my character's point of view. This is a common theme that I hear in criticism of my work. It implies that the reader has difficulty relating to the character, and that I should provide more sensory detail, more physical and mental reactions to the events that transpire in the story.

I well know that this is a big flaw in my writing. The Seattle agent that represents Dan Savage told me that my main character in "After the Fire" just didn't make her care enough about him. And that is after I've been working on fixing this problem for years. So obviously this kind of writing is not something that comes naturally to me. I see fiction like I see movies or video games; visually, with the camera over the shoulder. However, that's just not today's mode. The current mode is very close third-person point of view, the eyes of the character are the camera. It's a type of third person point of view that's almost, but not quite, as close as first person point of view.

One of the things the Virginia editor mentioned was something called "GMC" which she told me stood for "goals, motivation, crisis." So, I did a little research, and discovered a book called "Goals, Motivation and Conflict" by Debra Dixon. This seems to be exactly what the Virginia editor was talking about. I ordered the book. On Amazon, it's exorbitantly expensive for some reason, so order directly from the publisher.

I will post more after I receive it and digest its contents.

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