Reminder: Recall and Remember

I’ve been noticing this more with books lately, but upkeeping your character’s train of thought is a good thing. For instance, the two books I just finished, they mention the character’s thoughts, reminding the reader what they’re thinking every number of pages or so.

I find this is good because it reminds the main character – this is happening. It reminds the reader, this is what we’re¬†concerned with, and it helps explains actions/reasoning.

For instance:

It was a dream! I wanted to shout at myself. I had to stop letting it get to me.” (McPike 33)

Just as in real life, when Lali has a disturbing a dream, she can’t help but think about it. It’s common for us to continuously remember something that bothers us since we can’t help but process and re-process it as we try to come to terms with what we experienced. I found this to be a very lifelike attribution within the novel.

Lexicon does this too.

“He began to feel unsure, because her face was strange. And then it came to him, in a fountain of dream that began somewhere unidentifiable and ended in his testicles: He should not be here. He should not have led men with guns to his girlfriend.” (Barry 11)

They’re both quite similar. Both books have their characters recall and remember before they react to the physical act of recalling. This is important, probably the most important part. I did not include it for Wil in Lexicon, but he wanted to run away, just as Lali wanted to yell at herself to forget it.

This lets the author remind their reader that although the plot may deviate, we’re still focused on this earlier detail. It helps crank up the tension when it may be draining due to more menial plot points. In Lali’s perspective, she was in school, necessary to meet an important character. In Will’s perspective, he thought he was safe in the car, but he couldn’t stop. We have to keep that tension going, have to keep the characters moving.

After all, we’re only human. And we never stop.

McPike, KJ. Xodus. Seattle, WA: Fuzzy Hedgehog Press, 2015. Print.

Barry, Max. Lexicon. New York, NY: Penguin, 2013. Print.

PS.

I want to encourage everyone to take a look at Xodus. It’s a new supernatural YA novel with lots of adventure and a tinge of romance that’s sure to come back. My friend just published it, and although she’s a friend, I truly did enjoy it. I found it original, since astral projecting is an uncommon power, and she has a good writing style. There is plenty of tension, and you won’t be able to put it down.

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