Hello everyone, the post you have been waiting for is here. This morning I will be discussing how I study the novels I read. This way you can start to take notes on the novels your read to improve your writing. It also gives you a behind-the-scenes look into how I use other writers' work to influence my own. Understanding a story and seeing a primary example of it can do wonders for your writing.
The best part is this note-taking process is not even necessary given that everything we experience or take on, influences us consciously or not. However, taking a record of these influences is the most effective way of going about this. With that being said, this will be a more atypical post. This is given that instead of writing out paragraphs about every idea due to me not wanting to give anything away. I will only share the points I got from the novel.
Dark Places Notes
Make your characters novice with off-putting sayings and words unique to them.
Give your character personality by first writing in the first person. Then changing the pronouns. (Not my idea but I found it to be very helpful.”
Showing a character's biases informed by their influences and life experiences.
Make your characters unique by sharing specific behaviors or ways in which they respond to situations based on their past.
This is the only time I will advocate for copying. But complying with a list of terms and vocabulary that stands out can expand upon your own characters.
Your characters should carry themselves and make decisions according to their past that has consequently formed who they are.
If you have not already checked out Gillian Flynn’s, Dark Places. I highly recommend it because this is my second read and I still love it. My reason for this is I wanted to take a more analytical approach to the novel. Rather than just read it for my enjoyment as I did before. Because who says you can’t have fun while you’re working hard?
Be on the lookout for another post like this. Till next time...
- Matt Gorrell (creator of mattgorrell.com)