Monday, April 6, 2009

What do you see when you look at me?

What do you see when you look at me? If you’re not a writer, I hope you see a well-groomed woman of about thirty with a ready smile and intelligent eyes. If you’re a writer….well, I can’t have everything.

You see like most people, I present a façade to the world. I am a well-groomed woman of about thirty with a ready smile and intelligent eyes, but I’m more than that. I have a hot temper that is most easily provoked while I’m driving at Richard-Petty-before-restrictor-plates speed. I’m frequently plagued with self doubt and worry. I alternate between wanting to meet Mr. Right and being thankful for my single state. In other words, I’m more than what I want others to see.

***Note: Writers are prone to self analysis. My theory is that we think that if we understand ourselves we’ll be able to understand our characters. Kalayna has a much more interesting theory. Maybe we can talk her into sharing one day. ***

One of the tri mus was talking about some one she knew. “I keep thinking that there is more behind that shallow façade she says.” (There was more to the conversation, but we don’t need to go there.) With that comment my mind wandered to my characters. What type of façade are they presenting to the world? What is beneath the façades? Why do they choose the façade that they choose.

Therein lay my problem. With one of my characters from my WIP, it was easy. I rattled off answers in my head very quickly. With his love interest, not so much. I think she presents a tough girl façade, but that isn’t the picture I get of her in my WIP. I think she is hurting under the façade. She’s about to lose the last stable person in her life. I am torturing her by making her best friend and ex-boyfriend evil. She has to be hurting, but I’m not getting that picture. The character that is my head is not coming out on the page and that is making me crazy!

I plan on writing the climax scene this weekend. Hopefully, I am only a day or so away from finishing. But I see much re-writing, in my future. I must figure out what I see when I look at Mackenzie and how to make others see the same thing I see. It is no fun.

How do you capture the voice and essence of your characters?


Bahnree said...

I freaking love this blog. *cough*

I think my characters show their, er, essence in what they DON'T say rather than what they do say. All my characters' pauses, half-started sentences, broken-off sentences, etc, are very important to what they're really about. I also use strong bursts of emotion from them to show who they are underneath, as sometimes they're rather shy unless thoroughly provoked.

purpleprose 78 said...

Bahnree..yep yep, that is super important too. I write a close third person POV. One of the things that I love is when my character is thinking one thing and doing something else. I love how that shows that even he/she are deceiving themselves.