I try to remember that the reader does not have access to my mind, how I see the characters, the setting, or the characters’ back-stories. Quoting Nancy Kries from a 2002 article in Writers Digest, “The essence of writing is to become the reader.” That seems to be a simple task; it is not. Especially when I know them and their plight at the end of WWII. I envision Torn Apart as a film, only because of the clarity in my mind. (It would be a good one!)
An activity to assist in writing for the reader is to ask questions before or during the composition. Why am I writing this book? Who will be reading it? How do I want the reader to respond to the main characters, their escape, and am I leaving out many details? Is the setting described well and allowing the reader to “be there?”
I discovered my main character, Musa, seems to be a stubborn hothead after reading her resistance to leaving Budapest. She was in denial about the imminent danger and devoted to her life and her extended family. She had a life there and didn’t want to leave it or her parents and siblings. But that is only a part of her. My revisions/additions are to include details of her playfulness, humor, generosity and her intellect. She was not a flat person; I know that, but I have not included sufficient details to show her character and likeable personality.
I am the reader of my novel, first and foremost.
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