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.