But because it is, that means there hasn’t been a whole lot of creativity happening either. That doesn’t mean I’m not using this time for my writing skills.
For instance, with juggling all the details and trying to coordinate a bunch of moving parts, I actually try to use what I’m feeling. I slow myself down, take a breath and actually focus on how I physically feel, how is my body responding to pressure and stress? What words can I use to describe this? This exercise is tucked away for the next time I’m writing a character under pressure – those feelings and senses can be a great attribute to make them seem more realistic, tie the human characteristic to the fiction to make them more real.
Secondly, I’m in a whole new surrounding so I’m doing my best to focus on the details. What do I see? How do people sound? Is there an accent? Do locals behave any differently? These minor details can also make a character more relatable. What details can I pick up on, not just to use for their own distinct personalities but also to highlight their perceptions, how they might relate to a new situation, new people.
For example, one time I was walking around a Flea Market in Florida and there was a vendor speaking to family with a little girl about eight-years-old. He was jolly and boisterous, with a long straggly beard, denim shirt with the sleeves ripped off, tattoos all over his arms but he was playful and teasing. As I walked by I heard him say, “you’re grinning ear to ear so I KNOW you’re guilty!” And a character was born in my ‘Expecting to Fly’ story.
So, even though there’s some craziness happening, I’m trying to use all the experiences to notice the human sensations to help me discover better ways to make my characters real and tangible.
Til next time… happy reading!