The website of the historical fiction writer.

Festival of Writing 2014 Segment Ten: Psychic Distance

Debi Alper took us through how to get inside the heads of our characters and the stages in which a writer can do this.

This skill is very useful when writing in the first person as the voice needs to be able to move in and out of the narration but, whatever voice is used, the work needs to manipulate the reader’s emotional involvement with the characters.

There are five types of sentences that each have a degree of connection with the characters’ psyche: 1) factual (and telly), 2) a bit of personal information, 3) a bit more, 4) even more 5) right under their skin (showy). These should be put together in equal measure but how this is done is up to the writer, providing there is no jump from one to five or the writing gets clunky. In a film it can go from being a long shot to an x-ray.

This session was very useful and interesting but unfortunately I had to leave early for a one-to-one but here is some further information about it: http://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/psychic-distance-what-it-is-and-how-to-use-it.html

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