I hear actors brag about other actors who “never get out of character.” They say things like “If we’re on set” or “If we’re in costume, then he is ON.” I find myself doing this a little these days. A few months back I was editing a YA manuscript about a Texas cheerleader transplanted to a tiny island off the east coast. During the months of writing and editing that work, I subscribed to Seventeen Magazine, Teen Vogue and a few others. I already read ridic amounts of YA and watch lots of shows like that, but I noticed myself absorbing details. I dared to leave home in my skinny jeans and Chucks. In gen I felt lighter and more in tune to what I SAW in the world. I worked that piece for so long Ididn’t notice the change until I got settled into my next piece.
I started writing sweet romances set in Ohio earlier this year. They were a smaller, side project and to see the one I wrote while working on the YA, I can see the YA spilling over. My heroine was feisty and trendy and hot. As the YA wrapped up, and I started digging in to the romances exclusively, I pulled from my real life. I AM Ohio. The heroine in the next novella was a whole heck of a lot like me. The “me” when I’m not writing.
Now, I’m bouncing between a YA thriller and Drop Dead Delicious (a sequel to my cupcake killers). I can only imagine where that combo will take me. I’m already on the hunt for great gourmet baking recipes and asking Hubsy to attack me when I’m not expecting it so I can see what my YA MC’s physical response might be. I think it’s a good thing I get my head into the characters so much. For one, it’s super fun to role play *no comments please LOL* and for two, how else can I write them in a believable way? I want to TRY to be in their heads. When I put on an apron and buy gourmet ingredients instead of macaroni and cheese, you know I’m on the right track.
Do you do this? Do your characters influence you? Your music? Speech? Interests?
*Hope I never decide to write about a stripper* YIKES.