Seeing your characters…

Posted: April 19, 2008 in Uncategorized

One of the great things about being sans job is that I have all day to come up with something hugely spectacular to blog about!  Alas, today I have some kind of tonsillitis which I’m prone to because frankly, mine are gynormous.  Like circus big.  And that’s when they’re normal.  Right now they’re swollen, and let’s just say sleeping last night revolved around  finding a comfortable position in which I could a. actually breathe and b. actually sleep.  It was no easy task.  So today has been….well, groggy. 

But thanks to a conversation yesterday on the Query Tracker boards, I do have something.  

We were talking about our characters and how we see them, and one of the members (JJM) said I was one of the most visual people she’d ever met.  See, when I start a new story I have to have pictures of my characters.  Since I can’t paint or draw or anything like that, I have an unnatural obsession with googling images.  I’ve been known to spend 12 hours straight trying to find the perfect picture of what my character looks like.  Sometimes, like with Gabe from the reapers story, I know they’re just amazingly beautiful so I search out high fashion models (think Gucci).  Other times, they’re just your normal juvenile delinquent next door (like one of the reapers, Jarrod) and so I browse Myspace hoping to get lucky (I did!)  The point is, I HAVE to have a picture of all of my characters before I can really write well about them. 

The other part of this is the music.  When I get an idea, I usually have a basic feel for the soundtrack.  The reapers story takes place in New York City and kind of had a techno feel to it from the start.  Eden has black hair with neon pink highlights, and is basically a walking add for Hot Topic.  But then I have angels in there too, both the good kind and the Fallen.  And with that the music overlapped and became something else.  I have Gregorian chants set to club beats.  There’s quite a bit of German industrial music in there for some reason (maybe the dark echoey  warehouse feel of it?).  But this is one of my FAVORITE parts of the writing process, which I guess is kind of odd.  Because really it’s not about creativity on my part.  I’ve kind of lumped it into the whole thing where people say you have to read a lot to write well.  To understand how someone feels when their heart is shattered, I might throw some slow Nine Inch Nails into the ol’ noggin and let it fester on repeat for awhile and see if something grows.  For the first probably 50-100 pages I had Glittering Clouds on constant play.  And Az (Eden’s not-so-ex-boyfriend) wouldn’t have shown up in this book at all if it hadn’t been for a random song I found (specifically the Paul Oakenfold mix, which I couldn’t find a link to 😦  But once I started writing the scene with this song playing, Az was suddenly there and demanding to tell her his side of the story.  Would he have shown up without it?  Maybe?  Maybe not…but I can tell you I rely heavily on music for inspiration.  Does anyone else do this?  Where do YOU find your inspiration?

PS.  If anyone knows of any evil sounding Gregorian chants or just creepy music in general let me know!  (I don’t do hard core thrash…basically if I can understand the lyrics clearly I’m game to try it…if there ARE lyrics 😉


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