Becoming Each of My Characters

My current project tells its story in first person narrative point-of-view. Even if the story is only told from the perspective of that one character, as part of my writing process, I become each of the other characters. I live the story, act out the story, in turn, as each character to experience how he or she behaves, reacts, and speaks. Having created a great deal of back story for each character, I know each well, but I must put myself into their bodies and become them to ensure I have written scenes where they behave as they should. Becoming each of my characters — human, dragon, alien, bird, whatever — is thrilling. The exhilaration of becoming someone else, something else, is one of the addictive rewards of writing fiction.

Back Story as Short Stories

I love harps. Someday, I will have a harp to go with my halo.

In my current project there is a character that plays the harp. As I listened to Mozart’s “Flute and Harp Concerto in C, K.299,” inspiration struck: “Flurfy and the Harp,” the story of how Flurfy found her harp.

With “traditional” publishing, selling a story such as this is not possible — publishers are not interested in short stories. The power of independent publishing and e-publishing makes these stories sell-able.

For my current project, I created a great deal of back story on which to build my actual story — the back story guides the behaviors of the characters. While small amounts of the back story are divulged, only I know all of it. I want to share the information. An encyclopedia is one possibility, but then the idea dawned on me to write short stories that explore the back story.

So much potential, so many stories, so little time.