Friday, December 10, 2010

Do you know the people in your head?

This Christmas I decided to make bourbon balls for my friends overseas.  I think bourbon balls are a quintessential southern holiday treat, not to mention decadent enough to be considered a worthy gift to ship worldwide.  Since I just had to buy a bottle of Makers Mark as a key ingredient, my husband and I decided to tap that bottle Wednesday night and indulge in a little late night toddy.  As I sat there sipping my Makers & Coke and ruminating over the events of the day, it struck me: This is something Sawyer does.
(Sawyer is the hero in Book 2 of my series.  I’ll get to his book if I can ever finish Cian’s book - Book 1!)
 Anyway, I sat there thinking of Sawyer and what he’d do after a long night of hunting down dark druids and battling baddies that practice the occult for their own nefarious gains.  (Why yes, it is a paranormal series. Thanks for asking.)  He’d kick his feet up in his worn out leather recliner and sip on a Makers and Coke - heavy on the Makers, easy on the Coke – while channel surfing.  He’d finally land on E! and watch Keeping up with the Kardashians without a hint of shame or remorse.  At one particularly unrealistic reality moment, he’d yell at Cian to “Get in here and take a look at this!” 
Cian would be in the garage, blowing off steam by pounding his fists into a punching bag.  He’d have no interest in Kim, Khloe, or Kourtney and probably tell Sawyer to “Fek off.”  Of course Sawyer would ignore those instructions completely, go over and stand in the doorway between the kitchen and the garage, and give Cian a detailed play by play of what he’d just seen.  For his part, Cian would try his hardest not to let his punches slip and fly all the way across the garage, accidentally hitting Sawyer square in the jaw.  That’s his roommate after all, his fellow Fianna, and his friend.  Sawyer is only trying to lighten the mood. He knows how hard it is for Cian to come down after a night of work.
You see, Sawyer can spend the whole day intensely focused on his work and simply switch it off at a snap of the fingers.  Cian, on the other hand, carries the burden of what they do with him everywhere.  There is no switching it off.  There is no “don’t worry” in his vocabulary.  The only way he can relax enough to sleep is to wear himself out on the bag or drink himself into a stupor.  Since he owns a bar as his cover job and his temper is highly flammable as is, he knows he better not start down that whole drinking road.  Cian would never indulge in Makers Mark.
And these are the thoughts that run through my mind as I enjoy my Makers Mark.  So when my husband asked me “What are you thinking?” My response was, “Do you really want to know?  Because you could be listening for awhile.”
I love thinking about my characters; how they react to things, what they do on a regular basis.  What do they like to eat and drink?  What kind of car do they drive?  Are they techno savvy or a luddite?  Do the heroines like lipstick, lip gloss, or nothing?   Do the heroes wear boxers or briefs?  These are all things that may or may not ever make it into their story, but I want to know.  I need to know!
My favorite part of writing (and reading for that matter) is getting to know the characters.  I dream about my characters and all their little nuances before I ever start writing their story.  What about you?  How do you get to know the people in your head? Do they come to you fully formed or is there a method to meeting them?


Anonymous said...

I like it when characters become real to us like this. Seeing them react and understanding how they deal with things. This little snippet into Cian and Sawyer was also very endearing.

Elizabeth Michels said...

There's nothing like a bottle of bourbon to get the creative juices flowing! I loved hearing about Cian and Sawyer; and I can't wait to read their story. It also really got me thinking about the characters in my head and what they would be doing if they were hanging out in my living room. But, I'm guessing since they live in 1783, the whole having electricity thing would really freak them out. Great post!

Heather Molloy said...

Glad y'all enjoyed reading about the boys. Beth, I imagine your characters could occupy themselves turning lights on and off for at least a night! LOL

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