Thursday, August 11, 2011
You tell me: too much inner monologue?
How much is too much when it comes to all that thinking stuff?
Some call it interiority and others, inner monologue, but whatever the name, it's vital to help us relate to a character.
My question (because I've been facing this dilemma myself) is, how much is too much?
The third book I ever wrote was a science fiction work of art, or so I thought at the time. Rereading it today, I can see how scene after scene got mucked up in my main character's mind. There was a good reason for that: the book had a sort of Inception-like weirdness and was in fact about the human mind. But still, rereading it, I see an overabundance of thinking scenes.
It's something I've striven to avoid in my later books, but now my CPs often cite me with the opposite problem: not enough interiority.
Where my first few (YA-ish) books were easily over 70k or 80k, my new bare-bones style of writing ekes out novellas of 30k-40k which I then have to embellish with stuff like description and inner monologue. I don't mind writing this way because it is actually easier for me to add these things in than to take things out later. My problem is knowing when to stop.
So since I've been at either extreme, I'm asking you.
How do you know when your character is thinking aloud too much vs. not thinking at all?
Does it depend on the genre? Or is there a hard-and-fast rule?
In other epic, wonderful news, The Mystery Agent is revealed and her one-sentence pitch winners announced!!
And four days remain until WriteOnCon!!