Quick Link: Supplying Breadcrumbs: How to Hint at a Character’s Emotional Wound – Angela Ackerman

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

This is another great post from Romance University, that applies to all genres. Having a character showing flaws makes them human and more relatable. Thank you, Angela Ackerman!

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Supplying Breadcrumbs: How to Hint at a Character’s Emotional Wound – Angela Ackerman

by Angela Ackerman

Emotional wounds are transformative and have the power to re-shape a character in many negative ways, impacting their happiness, their self-worth, and causing mistrust and disillusionment to skew their worldview. This critical piece of backstory is key to understanding their motivations, and will impact their individual character’s arc, so knowing what it is, and how to show the fallout it generates is vitally important.

Regardless of whether you choose to show the emotional wound overtly during the story or merely hint at it, it will always be necessary to reference the event in smaller ways throughout. It’s a piece of the character’s past that holds vital significance; someone who’s endured the loss of a loved one, physical torture, or a messy divorce can’t simply forget it—especially if it hasn’t been dealt with. It will haunt her, and continue to hold her back in the story until it is dealt with.

Mastering the art of obliquely referencing what has happened in a way that reads naturally is an important skill to master as it pulls the reader deeper into the story through the art of subtext. There are many ways to seed ideas in the reader’s mind about the type of emotional trauma a character has suffered, including showing it through defense mechanisms. Here are three additional ways you can feed information about the event to readers without using info dumps or giving the whole thing away.

Read the full post on Romance University!

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