Thursday, February 23, 2012

HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR CHARACTERS?


Do you feel that? The 'acting' of sorts that goes in creating a believable character. Something that sucks you into their moment and doesn't let you go?

That's a good book, movie, song and expression. Artist can do that. Create a moment a feeling that absorbs you and takes you away into their moment.

HOW CAN YOU WRITE IT

When I wrote my first draft ever of a book, it was awful. I gave a listing of accounts. Like, 'He was six foot tall with dark hair about 150 pounds..." and "He was angry, sad, mad..." Yuck!

Then my daughter gave me the answer after she read the first few pages of my horrible draft.

"Mom, pretend you are an actor. That you are the character and write that."

BECOMING YOUR CHARACTER

Living in the moment of your character is darn fun! I close my eyes and open myself to the experience. Also writing in a close 3rd person. That way I can have more characters point of view.

EXPRESSION

This bit is where you are constantly told, "SHOW and DON'T TELL" and you do this by asking yourself, what happens to a person when they are:

Angry: Eyes dilate, muscle clench, teeth grind
Sad: Tears fall, sniffle, whimper
Scared: Hairs raise, trembling, teeth chatter

THE ACTOR IN YOU

So the next time you watch a movie, a show, a commercial or your friend's youtube videos ask yourself how that actor has portrayed their emotions. Write it down while you watch, create your cheat sheet and.... FIND YOUR INNER ACTOR (sometimes dubbed as a Muse)

HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR CHARACTERS?

I usually close my eyes and pretend I'm them. What a rush!

5 comments:

Larissa said...

Great post! I use music to help me get into my characters. And the Bookshelf Muse's Emotion Thesaurus is SO HELPFUL with different ways to show emotion. :)

Sonya Clark said...

Your daughter's advice to pretend you're acting is excellent. I call it "method writing," like the method acting techniques. Great post!

Kelly Hashway said...

I literally get chills when I feel my characters. It really is liking you are stepping inside another person, and it makes for good writing.

magic mint said...

Best advice I have heard. I try to get into character way before I write the scene so I can get the dialogue right, and the emotions, and the thoughts, etc.

Catherine Stine said...

Very true. I picture setting this way too-a cinematic experience where the camera can pan in and out.