Writing Incalculable has been an eye-opening experience for me. I feel a mix of both pleasure and pain, as I pour my heart and soul into this manuscript. It has been a long and arduous task, indeed, but I continue to grow in the process. So, I decided to share some of my observations along the way.
Today I wanted to talk about building characters. I know, it seems simple enough to build a character out of thin air, right? All you need is a little bit of imagination and then presto! Life has been created! Here’s where the gallons and gallons of coffee come in to play… I should have stock in the coffee industry, the way I go through it! I didn’t give those needy little buggers the credit they deserved.
To make a story great, I mean really great, the reader has to be so invested in the characters that they actually care about what happens to them. Somehow, I didn’t realize just how intrinsic a process this is. Then, you have to twist and weave the relational dynamics between the characters… just so. Something I learned to be more powerful than I first gave it credit.
I love psychological thrillers for the mental engagement they create; the twists and turns, the subtle clues sprinkled here and there, all pull together as intriguingly as the best brain-teasing puzzles. Building a character with a mind-blowingly devious secret, and keeping that character from being discovered until just the right time, however, that gets interesting.
So, how have I adjusted to this revelation? Well, first off, I’ve had to get myself a bit more organized than I started out. And enlist the help of more coffee… but you know that already! I already had a basic outline of each character, their description, likes and relationships, but it was time to get real. We all have memories and feelings. We have a soul. I had to dig deep and decide, what was in their souls? And that’s where it all began to come alive. Finally, I could read over what I’d created and not just smile, but feel.
These last few days, as I finish up my first draft, I am working my magic to finish breathing life into my character’s souls. I’m so excited to finally feel like the reader, not just the writer, of my own creation!