Reminders for empathetic writing Having empathy means identifying yourself mentally with another person and understanding him or her. Atticus teaches his children to have empathy for others when he says ”You never really understand a person.. until you climb into his skin.” Remember: Write as though you are the character- a first person narrative. Write using the past tense as though the events have already happened to you. Use details and facts that you know from the text- the more intricate and precise, the better. Write in the style of the character using their nuances and habits. Use references to their personal lives, thoughts and feelings, private details that have been exposed in the book. Show emotions that you think the characters have. Don’t make up things that don’t fit with the character and his/ her experiences. Use the character to show your understanding and appreciation of key moments from the text, but write from their perspective not your own! Even though you are writing from their perspective you will not get away the poor spelling, punctuation or grammar of a young child- Remember that Harper Lee writes her narrative through Scout but this does not limit her capacity for detail or expression.