Leo's Angel Oak Tree

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Getting into Character!!!

I can't believe I haven't written a post since July, but there is a reason. I didn't fall off the writing horse intentionally. On August 15th, I was stricken with a Iritis flare-up. It is like arthritis of the eye.  I was pretty much incapacitated for two months.  It is very light sensitive, and it hurt too much to even look at a computer screen.  Talk about painful!!  But, it is now getting better (with steroid drops every hour and dilating my eye four times a day), and I'm now able to type on my computer again.  I have missed you all.  It definitely wasn't the best time to be put in the dark (literally).  I had hopes of finishing my Ms for a writing conference I am attending in a couple of weeks.  But, alas, I don't think it will be even nearly ready. 

I'm very excited about this conference because I will finally get to meet my Writing Critique Partner, Margo!! (Shout out to Margo!!).  Also, one of my favorite agents to follow, Suzie Townsend, is scheduled to be there.  I soooooooo want to meet her! Her Twitter wars with Janet Reid are legendary and she is a top notch agent. I am hoping to pitch my new novel to see if it would even be something she is interested in seeing when I'm finished.

But enough about what's happening to me these days...now on to the real reason for my post.  I want to talk about getting into character.

As a writer, I am mostly drawn to writing in first person POV.  Everything I have written thus far has been done in this style, but my new Ms began to flow for me as a third person revolving POV between two characters.  However, the glitch for me is...writing in third person POV made it hard for me to get into character.  I was reading one my chapter critiques from Margo for our Weekly Chapter Challenge group (YAY, WCC on Writer's Digest!), and I started noticing a pattern. Her comments all rotating around getting into the head of my characters.  So, I asked myself...do I know him at all?  I feel like sometimes I'm writing him as an outsider when I should be writing him the same way I wrote in first person POV.  My aha moment!

Not to mention, I was at the Smart Chicks Tour in Austin a couple of weeks ago with some fabulous authors (Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Mar, and Rachel Caine), and Alyson Noel said the most intriguing thing about writer's block. She said when she got stuck in the writing process (she doesn't call it writer's block), she goes back into her notebook and writes the scene in first person, really fledging out how the character would feel in that moment.  Then, she uses that to help her go forward.  WOW! That's exactly what I need to do!  

So, even though third person feels like a foreign way to write most of the time, it should never get in the way of getting into character!!


  1. Welcome back. Glad you're feeling better.

    I just got back from a conference. And there was an excellent workshop on character development. My MCs usually do pretty well, but not as good as they could. And sometimes secondary characters are very flat.

    I've learned lots of techniques. Some of which I'm already very attached to and hopefully it will help.

  2. Glad you're feeling better and sorry to hear that you had to go through that. Good luck at the conference and have fun.