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13 November 2007 @ 12:39 am
Writing With Deliberate Misunderstanding  
As I've mentioned, I like to read stuff about writing. And by stuff, I mean essays, chapters, news articles, fortune cookie suggestions, podcasts (true, technically not reading, but still...). In any event, this week's key point that I latched onto:

Conceal things! Hide information from your characters.

Not everyone in a scene should know the same things. This will create misunderstandings, jumping to wrong conclusions, and different reactions.

That misunderstanding can up that twist-in-your-gut feeling. It can even be something small added to a story.

[For example - Supernatural - Young Winchester]

Maybe you're writing from Sam's perspective, and young Sam (age 8) is annoyed with his brother, Dean (age 12).

Dean won't give in and let them go any further into the library even though he promised. Now Sam feels that Dean conned him into doing the dishes and lugging the laundry up and down all those apartment stairs just to get him to do the chores. Sam is digging his feet in and stubbornly resisting Dean marching him abruptly away from the library's entrance. Thinking that his brother is unfair. Thinking that he is reneging on their deal. He won't even answer him with a good reason other than to grunt that he forgot they gotta do other stuff first. What Sam doesn't realize is that the young children's librarian has long blonde hair, blue eyes, and a familiar gentle smile. That this is why Dean stopped so suddenly in the entrance, and then after a stunned moment, swung around dragging his little brother out of there.

It's not until later when Sammy catches his brother intently studying the old picture of their mom and dad together and wiping at his face that Sam understands, asking quietly if the librarian looked very much like their mom.

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