Wednesday, April 23, 2008

From the Character's Point of View

This weekend I visited the area in Virginia where my present manuscript takes place. Having spent a lot of time there in the 40's and 50's, I have remembrances of smells, settings, dialogue and scenes. Returning as an adult and interviewing some of the people who still live there, the need to get "into" the period of the manuscript really intensified. Needless to say, I took lots of notes. And I have been thinking about my characters a lot. I must be on the inside looking out, if I am to be successful at this thing called writing. I cannot write from an "editor's" view. Perhaps that was why Rowling was successful. I think she was "inside" each of her characters, especially Harry.

But to comment on your "writing time," Janet, remember that "writing" takes place even when you are not at the computer. Thinking is writing, too.


  1. Thinking IS writing, but at some point you have to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.
    As a Queen of Research, I know the importance of getting inside the period so that I understand it better, but some point you have to stop researching and start writing.
    Often, that is easier said than done. At least for me!

  2. Aye, but there's the rub....
    Do it again.

  3. I think researching something can help you get unblocked, give you a fresh perspective and definitely give you tons of material to work with. Sure it can be time-consuming, but I think our minds need to putter about before putting it all together. I know mine does. It's calling it back from puttering, especially on a gorgeous spring day, that's the hard part.