How personal should a character get with the reader?

In the final revision of my novel What’s Left, I’d take a passage like this and have her speak directly to him, rather than about him. It makes a world of difference. Think it would work here?


I could say it was always gentle and kind, rather than laced with frustrations and sharp clashes. I wish, well, who is any of us, in the end? Maybe I need to ask our Orthodox priest more about the Book of Life or the Book of Judgment and all that?


Do you hear her asking her father if he was always gentle and kind? Or if she should ask the priest about the rest? Do you, too, feel that line needs to be inserted?

We can easily create a shopping list of what we desire in those dearest to us — or, if we’re more ambitious, what we can offer to others. So let’s fire.

What quality would you most want in the person who’s closest to you?


Cassia’s roots included inspiration like this. Greek Orthodox icon at Mount Athos created by Father Vasileios Pavlatos in Kefalonia, Greece using the technique of Pyrography. (Via Wikimedia Commons.)




7 thoughts on “How personal should a character get with the reader?

  1. I like characters in a book to be talking directly to each other. The one quality I want most in the person nearest to me is “Compassion”. Then kindness. My husband has both of those traits.

  2. In an ideal world, we would speak one to one to reveal our inner intentions and feelings. However, in the real world, this is rare. Most of us relate to soliloquy or only directing the message to ourselves. Having her speak about him rather than to him would deeply relate to our own personal weaknesses. Of course, this depends upon the rest of the scenario. I prefer direct communication between my partner and myself. That isn’t always what happens, though. Drama comes about through communication breakdown.

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