Introspection allows Punch

Advisers in the writing craft say avoid much introspection. Well this somewhat depends on the genre you write in. Not only that, it’s often the best way to show character development. If you work on this carefully, your reader won’t even notice that you’ve switched from action to thought process. In fact the reader will not only appreciate the enhanced point of view but welcome it.

Compare “Anton took off down the road in a hurry. Samantha was about to round the corner and he had to get there first.” with; “Samantha turned her back and had already jogged several metres before Anton realised exactly where she was headed. Ordinarily it wouldn’t have bothered him that she would shortly be running past Ben’s gate. With the way things stood right now, he knew he must head her off or he would have more than an argument to deal with. Ben had made it plain that if he saw Sam coming from the direction of his home again Anton’s nose would have a connection with Ben’s fist.”

It adds interest if you allow your character some thought process and reasoning before he acts so don’t stall yourself with writing craft advice if you can add a bit of ‘punch’ by whatever means. In Romance fiction in particular introspection is very important to reveal internal conflict. In a thriller it allows empathy from your reader for your character. If you can tie introspection to action so much the better. Your reader will take the introspection as being integral to the action and not feel that it slows the pace at all.

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