Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Guilt


This week I was re-reading one of my favorite Dick Francis books, Longshot.
The main character is an author and survival expert. He's impulsive, self-reliant, practical, and smart. He's got a dream of writing fiction.
The book is peopled with interesting characters. One of my favorites is Gareth, 15 years old, and just figuring out who he is and the man he will be. He tells our hero, John Kendall, that one of the teen girls (now dead--murdered) who worked in Gareth's father's racing stable made a pass at him and it embarrassed the boy.
John tells Gareth that it won't be the last time a girl makes a pass at him, and next time, don't feel guilty. Then John makes the observation to himself that shame and guilt bother the innocent more than the wicked.
I thought this was an excellent observation, and an excellent insight into John's character.
A good lesson. The internal monologue we give our characters needs to do double duty. It needs to be an on-point observation, but it also needs to illuminate a facet of the character's ---well, character. :)
Question for you. Have you tried this, have you noticed this in other people's work, and do you have an example to share?

6 comments:

  1. Such good advice, and timely as I revise. :)

    P.S. I have a three ingredient recipe for you!

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  2. Very good post! I'm trying to do that now with my MC. He believes if you do what's right, it will pay off-- not always he is finding out.

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  3. Oh, great observation and question! I don't have an example at my fingertips, but you can believe when I write today I'm going to be thinking about it.

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  4. Excellent advice. This is something I'm constantly working on.

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  5. Nice. I love reading the character's thoughts and learning how they view life, especially when it brings insight into my own.

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  6. That was actually a little point in House I noticed last night. So interesting and so true. Thanks for sharing that!
    I need to keep this in mind.

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