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mr58inc
04-09-2005, 12:00 AM
I am a brand spanking new writer. I don't know where to ask this question. I'll start here. I started a novel and find myself using the words "felt and thought" alot. Can you direct me to a place for help? thank you

DeadlyAccurate
04-09-2005, 12:28 AM
Can you be more specific? How are they used?

reph
04-09-2005, 07:55 AM
I'll start off by answering a question you didn't ask. Is "alot" a word? No, it isn't, no matter how often you see it on the Web. You need two separate words there: "a lot."

Now, about "felt" and "thought": There are subtle ways to show that something is a character's feeling or thought. Italics can be used.

"Dwayne read the note and collapsed on the sofa. She's leaving me? Oh, no. Oh, no no no. He crumpled the note in his fist."

Often the feeling shows in what the character says or does.

"Kim squeezed Bob's hand. 'Don't worry, honey. We'll think of something.'"

You can use a character as a kind of narrator. Write a scene the way the character experiences it, including what happens and the character's perceptions.

"Jody waited in the outer office. After fifteen minutes, a man opened the door marked Operations Department–Housewares and nodded to her. He looked like someone who had spent his past forty years wishing he had a better job than middle manager in a kitchen-utensils factory."

This sort of thing is discussed in the Learn Writing with Uncle Jim thread on the Novels board. Also read lots of published fiction to see how other people do it.

maestrowork
04-09-2005, 01:04 PM
I am a brand spanking new writer. I don't know where to ask this question. I'll start here. I started a novel and find myself using the words "felt and thought" alot. Can you direct me to a place for help? thank you

When you find yourself writing something like "he felt he had to do this" or "he thought about saying something" frequently, you're doing too much filtering. Other filtering words include "see," "hear," "sense," etc. You should try to cut those out. One technique is to show vs. tell. When you write "he felt he had no choice" you're telling us.

It's not to say you should never filter through your character, but it's indirect (you're removing the readers from the direct experience) and if you should keep that to a minimum.

Or use actual thoughts as Reph has illustrated. That would be a more direct approach (getting into the character's head, so to speak, instead of filtering). Still, internal thoughts shouldn't be overused either.

mr58inc
04-10-2005, 07:39 PM
Thank you so much for your response. I am reading the Learn Writing with Uncle Jim thread on the Novels board. It is very helpful. I have never written anything before, you can probably tell. I am 58 years old and was recently layed off from Kmart Headquarters after 30 years of service. I have had an idea for a novel for over 10 years and now have the time to write it. Thanks again for the help.