Get the Author Off the Page: A Reflection

More showing, less telling. What does this look like? What does it smell like? How would her body be reacting to his glare?  Being the slightly obsessive compulsive type who notices details, this is a part of the craft of writing where I am most comfortable. It’s also the part that slows me down in the telling of my story, but that’s a subject for another Reflection.

Alice Gaines, award winning erotic and contemporary romance writer, has this observation on the subject:

“Over the years, the revelation I had that day came to fit in a category that I call ‘getting the author off the page.’ Others call it deep point of view. . .I love deep point of view and practice it as best I can. Nothing else does more to make a reader love the characters or to allow her to share in the character’s emotions.”

If getting the author off of the page (i.e., having a deep point of view), will make a reader love my character, then I guess I’m on the right track. Yippee!

Alice gives ideas and examples of how to write with a deep point of view, even suggesting which verbs to avoid using unless there is really just no other way to write it. I love her list of Sensing, Thinking, and Emoting verbs. After having read her article, I find myself cringing then re-writing every time I use one of those words. I am a better writer for it.

If you have ever had an editor/friend/critique partner/your own inner voice tell you to ‘show more details’, or, ‘go deeper into your character’, read Alice’s advice. You might be a better writer for it.

Alice Gaines’ article, ‘Getting the Author Off the Page’, can be found in the anthology Writing Romance: The Ultimate Guide on Craft, Creation and Industry Connections.

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5 thoughts on “Get the Author Off the Page: A Reflection

  1. You’ll get faster as you go along. Do you know about Motivation/Reaction units? (Dwight Swain) Basically, something happens in the outside world (including what other charaters do), and the POV character reacts. More motivation, more reaction. And on and on. That’ll make it easier for you to proceed.

    I do 1,667 words per day on the weekend and 1,250 words per day on work days. But then, I’ve been doing this for 20 years.

    You might want to invest in a used copy of Techniques of the Selling Writer by Swain.

  2. Thanks, Karysa. I think these techniques are the easiest ways to make your writing stronger. It takes a bit more time to write this way, but the effort is worth it, I think.

    Alice

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