Then there is the whole shake it and see what might be in there moment. After all, they aren’t really looking in the package. It is just using the intelligence God gave them, right? (Kids are great at using our words to their benefit, hehe.)
After they shake it and make sure no one is looking, they look for a loose piece of tape, you know, just in case it needs smoothing. They couldn’t help it that the piece that was a touch loose and just flew open when they touched it, showed the end of the package.
Any Mom knows you either find an amazing hiding place, cover the ends of the package with paper, or make that tape cement tough. Terrible as it sounds, sometimes I catch myself giggling as I add an extra layer of tape.
My kids are pretty good and don’t give in to their curiosity for a present hunt very often, but just in case, I come prepared. DUCT TAPE! (Just kidding.)
So what can Christmas Presents teach us about Writing?
Unwrapping a character on the page should happen in layers. It builds the anticipation for the when the character is completely understood. Motivations, actions, romance, change, all of these are revealed a bit at a time.
My Book Therapy has helped me to understand a bit how to layer a character by using the lie journey interview. As you are unwrapping your character’s layers on the page you might find this helpful. The following includes some of the ideas of MBT wrapped with a bow.
*The Shake Up – Something happens in the beginning of the novel that shakes up your character and reveals that they need to change. The reader can see the character’s lie and something that the character needs to change.
*Loose Tape. Through the experiences on the page we get a sneak peak of the loose ends their life holds. What are their strengths and flaws? We see their strengths, flaws, successes and failures in their journey and it shows us little sneak peaks of their identity. This reaches just below the surface to the actions that show their response to the inner layer.
*Cover Up. When a character feels vulnerable they try to smooth out the loose tape. Keep their lives more private.
*Finally Unwrapping. Something happens in the character’s life that rips them apart. It shows their pain, their motivation, and their final decision to overcome it. This digs deep to identify the core change of our character.
There are many nuanced levels along the way. Next week’s posts will break these steps up into smaller parts, making them easier to create.