Reply To: Introspection

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Introspection Reply To: Introspection



Greetings!! I have returned victorious from my conquest of the hostile lands of exams! (Well hopefully victorious, I still have to get the results XD)

Do you use direct, italicized thought (where first person pronouns are used)? At first, I used basically none, but the more I looked at popular books, the more I see it used, and am thus tempted to use it (plus, I do like it, as long as it’s not overdone)

I write first-person, so it doesn’t really apply. I’ve seen it done both ways, and I don’t really have a preference. No italics feels most natural to me, a mainly first-person writer, but I get used to either when reading!

Do you use filters/thought tags like ‘he thought’ or ‘she wondered?’ Personally, I do not, and I feel that they increase the psychic distance quite a bit (make it feel farther from the character’s head).

No, but I make exceptions occasionally for things like “My mind wandered” or “My thoughts trailed off to–” to announce a longer piece of introspection/mini flashback since it implies that the character is no longer engaging with the current environment, which is also an action. Otherwise, it can seem that the unrelated introspection comes from nowhere instead of the character zoning out.

When writing indirect introspection (non-italicized with no first person pronouns), do you try to remove as many ‘he’s’ and ‘she’s’ as possible? For instance, She had always loved the sea vs The sea was glorious.

Interesting question, it depends on whether the introspection is related to current events I think. If the character is looking at the sea, it makes more sense to describe their love for the sea by their description, but if it’s a piece of information I have to get across quickly, it’s best to just tell it. So, the latter is preferred, but the former isn’t necessarily bad.

How much do you attempt to mix introspection with descriptions (i.e, make the description feel like it’s coming from the character’s mind)?

Again, it depends. (You’ll notice that’s my answer to all of these XD)

If it’s an ‘urgent’ description, so if they’re mid-action, I just make it as brief as possible and get it over with. If it’s a slower beat, and they’re actually describing something while considering it, I’ll mix in a lot more introspection.

If it has any emotional effect on them (It’s surprising/upsetting/reminds them of something) by all means, use it to spark introspection, but if it’s just a regular description, you don’t have to come up with introspection to add.

Could you give me an example of a  paragraph of introspection that you have written in third person limited?

The few instances I have from interspersed chapters are unfortunately very bad prose, so I’m going to skip this one XD

Hope this helps!

Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?

Pin It on Pinterest