I was asked recently “Do you have fun writing about the characters?” The very first thought that came to mind was an ’emphatic yes’. I did and I do.
Take Honey in ‘The Taste of Honey’ for example. I knew from the get-go how her story would turn out, especially when I had decided on a title for the novel. I wanted to get inside her head and relate to the reader exactly what it was like to go through what she wanted to do Sorry, I’m not going to reveal any spoilers.
I had to most fun writing her scenes and my fingers flew by as I recounted her story. When I had finished, I was so proud of myself and I remember years later how I felt when I had put the final period on her tale. I felt I had captured her feelings, her pain, and joys. Today as then, I can almost put myself into her situation and follow along with her as she embraces her plan and puts it into action.
Mona, although she is the focal point of my stories in the ‘Mona Bendarova Adventures’, the stories are really about the entire community she lives in. It’s really about everyone else and Mona is the glue that holds it all together. However, I must admit, that I love writing about Mona’s story as well, especially her sex and play scenes. As I did with Honey, I put myself inside her head, feeling what she feels and expressing it as best as I can. Of course, there are some things I cannot feel since I don’t have the equipment to do so but I can imagine quite nicely.
With my villains, such as Kristin in ‘The Taste of Honey’, or Jeremy and Jon in the ‘Her Client Trilogy’, I find it kind of cool to go outside myself and pretend to be the villain. I just don’t have it in me to hurt someone the way they do but again, I can imagine pretty well what it is like to inflict pain and suffering upon another person.
Then, there are their victims. Thinking back, I really enjoy getting in their heads. Honey as well as Jolene in ‘Her Client Trilogy’, they each suffer in ways that make people cringe. Recounting their pain and suffering, imagining what it would be like, I find interesting and intriguing. Somehow, throughout the writing process, I find pleasure dreaming up ways to hurt them and at the same time, feel their pain. What am I? A sadist or a masochist? Both perhaps? Only my friends know for sure.
Then there are the characters that are both victim and villain. Braxton Steele in ‘Broken Steele’ is one of those. I had fun dreaming up both sides of his character. He was a flawed character beset with unknown forces encouraging him to become a greater villain only to be reduced to a victim, supposedly by one of his relatives but in reality, by many of his victims. Cover-ups and conspiracies are just so much fun to write about.
Do you want to know what is really fun? Dreaming up all these scenarios. Most just appear magically in my mind, often at really inconvenient times. That imagery I wrote about some weeks back describes that process. But, if I am able to right down just enough to recall the scene, then you can rest assured, it will be in a future book someday. I hope you will look for them.
So, that’s my story on stories. What is yours? Do you have fun dreaming up your characters, stories, music, canvases or other works of art? Do you get lost in the moment the way I do? Do you emerge minutes or hours later only to realize you’ve living outside yourself? I love that feeling and I love it whenever I enter it.
Fortunately, I have many avenues available to me to enter that state but that is a story for another day.
This is Richard Verry, recounting some of my pleasure at dreaming up my characters and what they will be doing.