Posted on 01/12/2022 at 09:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Authors aim to make their characters feel real to readers.

And one technique that they use — which editor Kayla Kauffman actually wishes they wouldn't — is what she calls the "daily routine trap."

That is, they narrate each physical step of a character's journey, even the mundane and obvious ones.

For example, Kauffman says, authors typically don't need to state that a character drinking a glass of wine to calm down after a frustrating phone call went to the liquor cabinet, found the corkscrew, unwrapped the foil around the bottle, and then uncorked the wine.

Kauffman offers before and after versions of the "daily routine trap" in fiction at Jane Friedman's blog.

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