WOULD WE WRITE THE SAME IF WE UNDERSTOOD MORE ABOUT HOW THE MIND WORKS?
Would we write the same if we understood more about how the mind really works? If we knew that synapse would fire more readily with one word than another, would we change how we write to gain clarity or a wider audience?
Douglas: Talk about how the mind interprets Point of View and narrative distance.
Livia: We are social animals, so our brains are wired to interact with other people. We are equipped with many tools to figure out what other people are thinking and feeling. Some of these tools include facial expressions, body language, our understanding of the situation, etc. As writers then, our job is to replicate these cues so the reader knows what the characters are thinking and feeling. It's an interesting way to look at the “show don't tell” rule -- you could frame it instead as saying that a writer should use natural emotion cues rather than just telling the reader that little Johnny is sad.
Douglas: Talk about your incredibly interesting “From Words To Brain” essay. Out of all the literature to choose from, you chose “Little Red Riding Hood. Why?
Livia: Reading is interesting in that it's so automatic, yet so complex. There are so many brain processes involved, from the decoding of symbol on the page, to seeing the images that words describe, to understanding and identifying with the characters in the story. In the essay, I take the reader on a tour of the brain, following the words on the page through different levels to see what happens.
Read the full (long) interview: The Novel Road
Learn more: From Words To Brain