Saturday, November 10, 2007

Psychic Distance

It was a strange phrase for me. It popped up at a recent critique with my writing group. Basically, it is the emotional space the author puts between character and reader.
Sounds simple, right? It's what most writers call getting inside the character's head--and staying there.
I thought I was handling this concept fairly well but then, during one critique session, the comments came. "Author intrusion", "Lets' stay with Dree a little longer" then, "Psychic distance."
What?
Erik (great critique friend) told me about psychic distance and suggested I might want to brush up. So I did.
I searched the internet and found a few articles on the subject, but none better than Vicki Hinze's article. (Check it out here.)
After reading what she had to say, I decided to analyze my chapters. Vicki suggested watching out for words like realized, considered, wondered, etc. All words that potentially take the reader out of the characters head.
I started with searching the word considered. Not bad. Only found 2. Next up, realized. Yikes. 19. Now thought. Ouch! 94!
Actually, I'm not surprised. I love this word. Makes it easy but perhaps a little too easy. I make a promise to look at every one to see if they really belong there or if I need to eliminate. Most likely, it'll be the latter. But here's the thing. I'm glad. It's another area of writing that I've become aware of. It'll make Dree's voice stronger and ultimately the book.
Now, back to revisions...

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