Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Altered perceptions

A week ago I started a new book. I'm almost 10K in - would be further but as usual, I realized I'd started in the wrong place and had to erase the whole of Chapter 1 and start again - and am really enjoying it. I'm writing in 1st person again, and my MC has a very unique way of seeing the world. She has synesthesia, so sees sounds and tastes colors. It's not an incredibly important part of the story, but it gives me an arsenal of different ways to describe things

Like most decisions I make about my characters, this one just happened. In my first chapter - the one I erased - she described a color as bitter and a sound as blue and I just went with it. By the time I reached the end of the chapter, I understood her oddity and it has just become a part of her voice. I love this journey of discovery. I feel as if I'm not guiding the characters at all, they're revealing themselves to me little by little. Luckily, Livvie's doing it at reasonable pace... I wish Jules would give up some of her secrets.

How do your characters develop? Are you actively involved in creating them, or do they kind of pop into your MS already fully evolved?


  1. They pop into my head with a 1. defining personality trait or 2. a big problem.
    My books ALL start with characters. As soon as I get a character in my head, I fly through 2,000 words to get to know them. SOMETIMES those 2000 words make it to the end, sometimes they just help me with my character, but that's where mine come from.

  2. Geeze Kate, that's awesome! I'd say my characters develop much the same way. I write and see what I discover :)

    I wrote a first page to a WIP I'll write once my current one is polished and it's in first person, present tense. I might have to ask you some tips on writing like this, it's the first time I've tried it.

  3. My problem with the new one is it's in first person past tense, but because I'm still semi-working on Taillights, I keep slipping into present...

  4. Wow... that sounds really interesting!

    Mine just devolope most of the time. I just write and find out who they are and their little quirks along the way. Then after I get into it a bit, I sit down and write some stuff down.

  5. Lol, that's hard. The two writing styles of my WIPs are so different they can't be confused.

    btw, I totally love the name Livvie :)

  6. I start with one simple idea, but get to know my characters in those first few thousand words - sometimes those first few thousand make it to the end, sometimes they don't, but they help me know my people.

    You are going to have a LOT of fun with description :D

  7. I think we all have a little bit of this. I think in colors, emotions have colors and definitely taste. These seems so normal to me, but if I describe something like that in a book, I always get people who tell me I've confused the senses.