The Gap Inside

Where have I been? Writing, revising and writing and revising some more. I’ve been digging deep into the emotional arc of my story. In my research I came across Darcy Pattison’s blog, specifically her post on A Novel’s Emotional and Narrative Arc where she cites a book called Emotional Structure: Creating the Story Beneath the Plot by Peter Dunne.

Through Google Book Search I found an excerpt of this book from the chapter “Creating an Emotional Outline” (pg. 169):

“Think of your idea now. Think of it in terms of your protagonist’s deep emotional state. What’s going on inside his or her head these days? Not about her job and not about his kids. About the gap inside. About the disappointments of the past. About the dreams unfulfilled. We all carry them. Some more graciously than others. If your protagonist is like most people she is gracious and patient. Maybe even willing at this point to say that not all dreams can come true. It is not overt suffering. It is not playing victim. It is just the way it is.

“But most of us commingle acquiescence with blame. Many of us give up on too many things when really most of what we give up on should be pursued to the gates of heaven. We tend not to give up selectively. We tend to give up completely…

“So what are you willing to reveal about you that you are going to find in your hero? What is it in your hero you will love because it is you? We write what we know about. We write what we know to be true…Give [your character] an exotic name and drop-dead good looks…It doesn’t matter. She is still you. She is the literary expression of your DNA…Can you reveal yourself to her?”

Buy the book here.