Monday, June 6, 2011

Don't for get the helmet cam.

I took Saturday night off. I watched some really interesting TV (Parking Wars, yeah I know), and after having three Augustiners (german beer), I came up with a TV show for my cat (remember, I had three german beers). I know, my cat. A commerical came on for a helmet camera. You know, one of those things you put on your head when you're skateboarding, sky diving, or doing some extreme sport. I guess you could use it for anything, but extreme sports is what they were pushing. So I thought, wouldn't it be funny if I put it on my cat's head to see what she does all day (which is mainly sleep, but if you add a voice to the footage how hilarious would that be). I mean, seriously, it might turn out to be better than some of the shows out there.

Then I started to think about my characters. A friend of mine said she had trouble getting into her characters and asked how do I get into mine. Most of the time they are there, they just come to me, sometimes music helps (okay, it helps a lot). For some reason, I somehow put myself into them. I see, feel, hear, taste and smell everything that is going on around them. I am apart of them and that's what I want my reader to feel. I write first person so I want my reader to be the character.

But what about the other characters? You know, your supportive cast. You have to get into them too, mainly to make them authentic, as real as the main character. Those characters can give you trouble, blocking you out, and not letting you in, especially if you "know" your main character inside and out, it can be hard to get into another characters head. The first thing to try (if you haven't done it already) is to write out details about that character. Treat it like an interview. Ask different questions you want to know--age, eye color, likes, dislikes, etc. Don't get scared if they answer you. It's part of the process. If they still seem a little foreign, then try strapping the helmet cam to their head.  What would they see and hear? What would they touch and eat? You may see more than you knew about them in the first place. It may put you in their perspective and eventually put you into them.

Now, this is a by no means a proven method, just something I just happen to stumble upon over the weekend in my crazy thought process. So, that's my quick post this morning. You may think its a little strange, but it may work. As for my cat, no helmet cam yet.

How do you get into your supportive characters heads?

How was your weekend?

Any goals for the week?

My goals finish a MS for a CP and finish my first draft. Pretty much the same as last week.

Have a great day!


  1. I do a lot of prewriting and fill out character charts until I can't stand it anymore, which doesn't take long. I do interviews. But I definitely get to know them better when I just write.

  2. Great question about getting into the head of supportive characters. I tend to take myself out of the picture as opposed to stepping into the picture with my main characters. I ask these supportive characters lots of question but basically the questions are about their reactions. If this would happen how would you react and what value would it bring to the storyline?

  3. I agree with salarsen. We (okay, I) usually tend to focus on my MCs and forget about the supportive cast until after the draft. With my wip, I didn't though and my first draft was much more solid. I did interviews with them as well. Because I have a few who are adults, I also had to really think about how they might say something vs. my MCs who are teens/younger adults.

  4. i'd watch that.
    my goals for this week are to get as many words down for my new WIP as possible. I fell behind a bit over the last few days

  5. I do character collages and lay them out on the floor when I write. That helps me big time. :D

  6. Usually, my supportive cast just comes to me as well. And unless I really try and get to know them, I only ever know them as much as needed.

    I had a great weekend! Hope you have a great week!

  7. *snort* Cat cam. So good! I'd definitely watch that. So far, my characters just show up as is and I "know" them, pretty much like you said. Hopefully that's always the case.

  8. Hm, great question! I usually get there by writing and rewriting.

  9. Had a great weekend, thank you. I've interviewed my characters before. It's fun. Helps to dig deep and see what makes them tick.