I have often wondered this: How attached are writers supposed to get to their characters? At the beginning of the writing process, when Sarah and I plan out a novel, we set each other different chapters to write, focusing on specific characters. Therefore, I have, for the most part, been writing the same characters for a decade. Naturally, I have grown incredibly fond of them. Flaws and all.
But lately, when I write chapters featuring them, I find myself being unable to write anything until I can get into their mind set. Until I can see myself as them. Often, they are going through something traumatic which requires me to deep-dive into their emotional state. I’m talking all-consuming loss, heartbreak and absolute fear.
Recently, and strangely, this has started affecting me. I find myself getting worked up, and irritable just like my character. Wringing my hands, taking deep breaths, pacing non-stop. I feel what they feel. If I’m writing something particularly harrowing, I have to take regular breaks to calm down; remind myself it’s my character going through these tough times, not me.
Does this make my writing flow better? Does it make the character’s emotion more realistic? Both yes, and no. It helps me know what I want to say. But finding the right words is more difficult. I feel what they are feeling, and agonize over trying to describe it perfectly.
Christmas is coming, and lab work for the year has been winding down. But that doesn’t mean my lab mates have been lazy. For a quick refresher about what my lab mates do, click here.
This week, Mike put his life on the line for me. Sometimes the chemicals I make can get a bit…overexcited, and a blast shield is a must have. You’ll be pleased to know Mike lived to see another day; there was no explosion. And I plan to keep it that way.
Harvey worked his magic all week and provided some vital results which have made me feel a sense of accomplishment, a rarity in research. Another surprise was the arrival of Harvey’s brother, Lewis: Shiny, new, and ready to start electrifying my reactions in the new year!
Meanwhile, Pat the potentiostat had a well-deserved break. He’s old, and his constant usage over the past three months was potentially the most activity he’s seen in a decade. But don’t feel bad for him, he’ll see plenty of action in 2020.
Sorry for the brief update! But Christmas is coming, and life is busy.
I hope everyone has a safe and restful break. Eat lots, enjoy time with your family, and make the most of the summer (or winter) weather. I know I will be.