I can still see Mr. Smith, my AP English teacher, rubbing his chin as he would encourage us to dig deeper. "Give me more" he would say.
It was always "Give me more."
Whether it was during class discussion or on something we had written.
He always wanted "more."
There were times I wanted to scream at him: "I don't have any more. I can't go any deeper. That's all there is!"
I think of that sometimes when I get critiques back from my critique groups. They'll have read a scene that I feel digs deep, that is full of emotion, that has tension and whatnot and what do I hear. "You can build this more, dig deeper. Give me more."
And the high school student in me wants to say "No. I can't. That's it. That's as deep as I go."
But high school was a long time ago and I know they are right.
So I dig deeper. I give more. I give till it hurts.
And it always works.
And you know what, Mr. Smith was probably right (darn it) I could have dug deeper back then too.