My beloved gave me some constructive criticism on my writing recently, and of course I handled it maturely.
Which is to say, I was dismissive, hurt -and jerked my knee REAL HARD. Rejecting what she said out of hand, and refusing to accept any remote validity to her statement.
Fifteen minutes later I realized she had a point.
Then I pouted for a day or so.
Then the crying.
And now that I’ve processed, I’m ready to obliquely admit that she had a point, a small point.
[Read: She was completely right.]
Her criticism was:
Since you write in third person exclusively, you have a tendency to not show character’s emotions. I understand that you’re trying to “show, not tell” — but I’d like to get more inside the character’s heads, and get a sense of their emotions. [Heavily paraphrased, she’s the one with the eidetic memory.]
I read back through a few pieces, and I can totally agree with this assessment. And while I’m always going to err on the side of allowing my audience to make their own conclusions about characters — I feel this is a tool I need to be able to master, because it can be extremely effective.
So, my question is: How do I do this, without my stuff sounding like a Harlequin romance?
I can’t just write “The mage was sad. Her sadness was strong, and full of more sadness.”
Opinions, suggestions, and examples if you got ’em!