Projecting Your Feelings

In Alex & Emma, one of my favorite writing-related movies, the author starts describing a character falling asleep as he himself nods off on the couch.  Tonight I want to follow his example, writing about a character who is sore or exhausted because I am worn out and there is nothing but ache from my hips to the floor.

I know that when I am feeling an emotion, be it frustration or pleasure, pain or joy, it becomes easier to work on scenes where my characters are feeling the same.  Sometimes interactions or conversations develop that I hadn’t planned, as my life leaks into theirs.  In reverse, I can also sometimes pull feelings from my characters; if I develop a section with a character in a good mood or an unhappy one, I sometimes find myself mirroring the same at the completion of that portion of the story.

Perhaps this doesn’t apply to all writers.  After all, not everyone is character-driven like me.  If you are a writer, does this happen to you?  I’d especially be interested in this from any plot-driven folks out there, since it’s always fun to learn more about how other people experience the world.  (It makes you a better writer!)

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. deshipley
    Oct 23, 2013 @ 22:51:12

    I can think of at least one time my exhaustion may have made the POV character in a scene extra tired. (Sorry, fella!) And gosh knows my characters’ moods jerk me around all the time — not only when I’m writing them, but sometimes when I’m trying to live my life. I’m not just character-driven; I’m flippin’ character-controlled, which can be pretty inconvenient, if they happen to be going through a period of woe. If only their /good/ moods affected me as strongly. Then I’d just hang out with the happy ones whenever I need a surefire pick-me-up.

    Reply

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