Fish or Fishing – That is the question.
I can think of the appetising aroma, when someone passes eating a fish supper or the horrible smell coming from raw fish laid out in a fishmonger’s window, but the fishing I want to discuss is the delving into the mind of another person to find out information. It isn’t easy because that person doesn’t want to divulge his secrets. You can try different ways by asking from different angles, but if the person is not willing to give up that information, it’s a lost cause. And if you’re not careful you might even lose a friend.
You can apply this to fishing for clues, when you are writing about a character in your novel. You have dealt with all the surface details, but you need to delve deeper into the character’s motives to take the reader further and to understand his actions.
The way to do this is to ask similar questions.
1. Why would you want to do this? 2. Has someone ever hurt you deeply? 3.What will you do if you fail? 4.Could you survive the shame? 5.Where will you find the courage? 6.Will you leave the district?
By fishing for these answers, you will find reasons why the character acts in a particular way and the reader will have got more than he expected.