We writers only have ourselves to draw on. Our own experience and instinct. What I'm afraid of, at this point in my WIP, is that I'm being redundant. I'm worried that the emotional reactions are repetitive, or that I'm hitting the same points too many times. Because like I said, I've only got me to go on.
Obviously the real check for this is outside readers. They will be able to pick out that fast any moments where things lag or feel redundant. But to catch it ourselves beforehand or to change it afterwards, what do we do?
I guess recognition that this is a possibility might be the first step. Figure out what your gut instincts are, so that every once in a while you can shake things up by not following them. But I mean, we have those instincts for a reason; the things we think make good characters, the emotional reactions that we think mean something, mean something to us for a reason. This might be confusing already, but my question is this: if we're used to doing things one way, how do we even know what the other options are?
I'm trying to make sense, but I don't know how well that's going. Let's see, I'll try and be more specific. So, say that when you're trying to amp things up, you're instinct is to have a certain thing happen, or to do more with the Big Topic that means the most to your MC. How do you amp things up in a different way? How do you get emotional involvement from your MC without directly going to Big Topic?
I am in no way saying that we shouldn't be ourselves. Of course we should, that's what makes writing interesting. But I think its a definitely possible and often easy to get stuck in kind of a rut, and not stretch ourselves or use other, weirder, different parts of ourselves. How do we access those parts of ourselves when we want to spice things up?