How does one put depth into a novel?

When you are reading a novel, during or after it is finished, you discover that everything is on the surface. It is what the characters are doing and how they react to others, but nothing more is revealed. They have little or no baggage and the story lacks real interest other than the topic that is dealt with.

Crime – You take the reader along with you following all the clues until the murderer is caught. And introduce a romantic relationship along the way for interest.

But it’s not enough. Readers expect more. And a writer doesn’t want the reader to tire of his novels and think they are all the same – shallow without depth.

Perhaps one has to introduce a new character who had a relationship in the past with the person who is dead. Now that would produce depth to the story, especially if the daughter didn’t know he was her father – it’s a start in the right direction.

 

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2 Responses to How does one put depth into a novel?

  1. There are a few tricks to creating depth. One I quite like is the strategic use of an emblem or phrase appearing at different times in the narrative, each time taking on a new meaning. For example, say a character is given a rose. At first it evokes romance, love, passion, etc. Then follows a load of murder and tragedy. The next time the character sees a rose is at a grave, now symbolic of blood and death. But you have to be careful not to draw too much attention to it. Ideally, you want the reader to register these emblems on a subconscious level, so they feel moved by it, but don’t really know why. It’s kind of like weaving a story beneath the story, if that makes any sense.

    • shreid2013 says:

      Thank-you for giving me a new insight into my problem. It’s not an easy concept, but one worth pursuing. If my writing is to improve, this is what I would like to do. I like the idea of trying to register it on the subconscious level of the reader without the writer giving too much away.

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