Thursday, January 12, 2012
read 'em and weep
"Blood and gore eventually make the audience gag; sobbing and moaning eventually earn the audience's laughter or contempt. On the other hand, if you make us understand how intensely the character loved before losing the loved one, or trusted before being betrayed, then his grief will have far greater power, even if you show it with great economy. If you show a character coping with her pain or grief, refusing to succumb to it, then readers will wince or weep for her. Another rule of thumb: If your characters cry, your readers won't have to; if your characters have good reason to cry, and don't, your readers will do the weeping."
- - - Orson Scott Card, Character and Viewpoint, p. 70