I'm trying to write a short story that is primarily based around the protagonist's internal conflict; she wants to come to terms with her new identity as a superhuman, but also wants to stay true to the self she has to leave behind. Her attempts to come to terms with it involve denial that she is a super in the first place, her family figuring it out and trying to trick her into an exorcism, and eventually rebuilding herself and her worldview with the help of her supportive roommate. The story's main theme is about how sometimes we make the only decisions we can, and we twist ourselves into strange and unhealthy shapes in order to live with what results.

My problem is: how do I make the reader feel what's actually going on? It's all internal to her. For example, the only way I can think of to express the gulf she feels between her and her family now that she has to lie to them about what she is would be a dinner conversation about supers being evil, or a church sermon or something. But that doesn't actually express what she's feeling: it just puts her into a contrived-feeling position so she can feel things.

I can have her act stressed, but how do I get the reader to feel that she is stressed and not an asshole?

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Read:  The classic "How to Write about Africa" by Wainaina. A good 'guide' book that is relevant especially when X isn't X but wants to write about X.

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