Monday, March 28, 2011

Learning from Woolf

In my British Literature class, we've started reading Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.
This is my first time reading a Woolf novel, and it amazes me how well she can do stream of conscious. While I definitely will not pick up her writing style, I still greatly appreciate her characterization. In class today we compared her writing to other novels we've read this semester, and before her (and even now after her) sometimes authors tend to say, "This character is this way." But Woolf is able to show it, and she doesn't just stick to characters like Clarissa and Peter. She branches off into random people you'll never even see again, but in their brief moment in the stream of conscious, you gain a deep insight into that character.

I've always found it important to give my main characters a past. I mean, how else are you supposed to write them well? But in reading Woolf, I decided even my minor characters need something behind them, so I can grasp their character better. I'm sure it'll make them a lot stronger.

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