Before I get into this post, I want to take a moment and just say how very lucky I am. Two very dear bogging friends, with not-to-be-missed blogs of their own, Teri and Downith, checked in with me after my posting absence to see if I was okay. Wow. We’ve never met face-to-face and yet they made a point to check in. Thank you, ladies. Truly. You can’t know how kind that was.
Well, it has been a while, hasn’t it? The flu of the century landed at our house and even after I put the damn pineapple at the foot of its bed, it still wouldn’t leave. So rude. Anyway, I can tell how long it’s been by the fullness of the box wine in the fridge and the number of empty tissue boxes stacked on the counter (Seventh Generation products, but I still feel badly for not going total-green and using hankies, but frankly I don’t want that gunk in my washer, so I ask your forgiveness yet again, dear trees.) .
But in between coughs that could be mistaken for seal mating calls, I have managed to be nearly done with a draft of my WIP, and can I just say: My characters think WAY TOO MUCH! Now I know I’m an analytical person who can over-think a wrong number, but my characters really need to, as Carly says: “turn down the noise in (their) mind(s)”.
But then I stop them thinking those seque-less bursts of self-analysis, and I realize the reader STILL wants and needs to know what they’re thinking, just not in such a way that pulls the reader out of the scene like a commercial break.
So I have them reveal their thoughts in as an unobtrusive a way as possible, while they are doing, the way we all do (unless we are in an actual conversation about our thoughts which happens a lot in real life, but can really kill the mood in a book)–ie, the dishes, walking the dog, making dinner, etc., so the thoughts come out in little pieces, enough to suggest their thoughts, ideas, maybe even their backstory, without usurping the pacing of the scene.
It’s not always easy. Especially when we find we’ve let those thoughts go unspoken and we feel the need to purge them in a single scene over several paragraphs like dumping old files when we realize we’ve overloaded our desktop.
So how about you all? Ever find your characters think too much?