Lessons from Anne Tyler

Cover of "The Tin Can Tree: A Novel (1st ...

Cover via Amazon

Although I’ve read all of Anne Tyler’s books I make sure I go back to them as often as I can just to soak up all those characters that she fills her pages with.

I’ve just re-read The Tin Can Tree. Here is what I learnt this time round.

  • That you can let the reader know all about a person’s thoughts without the other characters having a clue what they are thinking or even what they are about to do.
  • Show the change of season by what clothes the characters decide to put on in the morning.
  • The importance of food to a novel. What the characters choose to eat, how they eat and what they don’t want to put in their mouths.
  • How you can show so much about a character from what they collect.
  • The way a conversation can move from comfortable to irritable to conflict in just a few short paragraphs. Anne Tyler also shows so well how a tiny disagreement can just be a cover for something much more significant.
  • Lastly how you can show a character’s worries by what keeps him or her awake at night and of course what they dream about.

One thought on “Lessons from Anne Tyler

  1. Pingback: V is for Voice | Joanne Phillips - a writer's journey

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