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The Six Signposts
Transcript of The Six Signposts
Signpost 2: Contrasts and Contradictions
When you're reading and a character acts in a way that either contrasts our expectations for general behavior or contradicts previously established behavioral patterns, recognize that the character is probably being developed
Ask yourself, "Why would the character act or feel this way?"
Signpost 3: Again and Again
When you're reading and an author continually makes references to the same word or image, recognize that the author is making a conscious choice and wants you to notice such a repetition.
Ask yourself, "Why might the author bring this up again and again?"
Signpost 4: Tough Questions
When you're reading and a character asks him or herself a really difficult question, recognize that the author is hinting at the conflict or theme of the story or what's to come.
Ask yourself, "What sort of conflict does this question suggest?"
Signpost 1: Words of the Wiser
When you're reading and a character (usually older and wiser) takes the main character aside and offers some advice, recognize that this "sage" is probably revealing a theme of the story or novel.
Ask yourself, "What's the life lesson, and how might it affect this character?"
Signposts are places in a work of fiction at which readers should stop and notice and note that which they are thinking so as to make sense of the text.
Signpost 6: Epiphanal Moment
Signpost 5: Memory Moment
When you're reading and the author interrupts the action to tell you a memory, recognize that the author is probably revealing something about theme, conflict, or what's to come
Ask yourself, "Why might this memory be important?"
When you're reading and a character suddenly realizes, decides, or understands something important, recognize that the author is probably revealing something about character or theme.
Ask yourself, "How might this change things?"