Drowning in the deep.

Twitter has been interesting the last few days. My former editor from the now-defunct Rebel ePublishers was tweeting a few of us. Our relationship goes way back to 2009. Jayne Southern is the best editor, she’s truly fantastic. She made us all so much better. Her sense of humour and care kept me going more than she realises.
When she said to a few of us that “the ability to put the reader right in the character’s shoes and mind is pretty damned wonderful”, it got me thinking.
This was my reply, “Takes a toll, it means the author has to be right there feeling everything. After Sam (we know what that means) it was awful moving through the aftermath and going on without him. (Think it was worse than Mac for me.)”

I know I’ve talked about this with Pete on the Break it Down Show. There is a grief process if you allow yourself to get that close to characters and a story. If you’re not a writer, that probably sounds insane.
It’s a choice.
I can choose to be in their heads or not, now, but didn’t feel I could choose when I was writing the Byte Series. It was an intense, exhausting, process. I laughed a lot too, it was by no means all bad. Ellie’s sense of humour was always there. I’ll tell you something about writing that series; the best scenes, the very best emotional, gut-wrenching, or terrifying scenes come about when I was right there, in the thick of it. Seeing it all unfold around me. Feeling what my characters were feeling. That’s what the readers pick up on.
If you’re writing a truly awful scene you can’t be too scared to ask yourself the questions; “How would I feel if that was a family member? What would I feel if I was in that situation? What is my character feeling? How can I show that?”
Readers know if you’re not fully invested in a character and their story. They know.

It was fairly easy for me to be right there with my characters because the Byte Series is written in the first person, and I jumped in with both feet. It was very hard to step back. VERY hard.

Now, I’m writing a kiwi series and I had a choice to make.
Do I climb into the story and surround myself with these characters?
Or do I let them come to me and watch how they interact with each other and the story and let them do the heavy lifting?
What did I decide?
Guess you’ll have to read the Veronica Tracey Spy/PI books to find out. 🙂
(That was mean, wasn’t it?)
FYI it’s first-person.

[Leave a message] launches June 1st. It is available for pre-order it now.


One thought on “Drowning in the deep.

  1. You’re so right about experiencing what the characters experience, Cat! In both of the last two books I wrote, characters went through some awful stuff, Chicky Babe. And it was so hard to write about it. But you have to if you’re really going to tell the story. Little wonder when writers wait between books. I’m actually girding for that right now as I get started on my new project. I don’t know all the details yet, but some bad things are going to happen to at least one person, and I have to get ready to write it…

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