Character Immersion…

So I’ve been woefully neglecting my WPI, a Dystopian love story that takes place in the near future. For added authenticity, I thought I’d live my protagonist, a slice of ‘his’ life. I thought it a good idea to get into his head, to better get into gear and off my sorry ass to finish my damn novel.

‘K. stands hidden in a stand of pine in the dead of winter somewhere in New Hampshire. He contemplates his life now, of what has transpired in the past few months, years even.

He is fond of Jack Daniels and, cloistered under the cover of shadows, he pulls out a pint and takes a long swallow.

He stands and gazes out at what the country has become. He then thinks of J., a woman he met briefly, only once, and yet that one time is etched firmly in his head……’

So begins my manuscript. Well, sort of. Don’t want to give too much away in style.

I thought I’d immerse myself in his shoes, feel what he experiences, and with that visceral approach, I thought it would stimulate me to put pen to paper.

So here are a few visuals to help you ‘feel’ the mood of my book-in-progress. (The revision part is hell, isn’t it?)

011Taken from inside my barn, internal temperature about 15 degrees. My writing pad, and a shot of whiskey. On the chair rests a plaid shirt that belonged to my Dad.

014A painting I did of my father. He looks down at me, balefully, seemingly shaking his head at his wastrel son.

020That’s me, sitting in the same chair, whiskey in the foreground. Here I sit in the cold, feeling what my protagonist feels, thinking about a myriad of things.

015Paintings by Sargent and Chagall keep me company, another artistic Muse that lies dormant, as evidenced by the next photo.

016Ah yes, there it is. My vacant easel. At least the wood panel residing on it has a coat of gesso. In the upper left corner is a painting done by my grandmother, restored beautifully by my brother Joe.

017And here sits a jumbled mass of frozen paints. Perhaps in the spring they will thaw and I’ll be able to slap something on that vacant canvas.

013But back to my protagonist, his scotch, and his thoughts.

I sit in that chair, sit in the god-awful cold, feel what ‘he’ feels, and then I begin to put pen to paper.

Let’s see, where was I? Oh yes.

‘K. pockets the bottle and descends the hill. Thoughts of J. weigh heavily in his mind. He must find a way to…’

And so continues my revision.

Do you, on occasion, ever ‘live’ your own character?

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2014-All Rights Reserved.

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2 responses to “Character Immersion…

  1. Dear Paul,

    Do I ‘live’ my characters? Yes, somewhat – especially when writing dialogue, I try to ‘get into character’.

    I’m sorry that you face difficulty getting into the writing again. Looking forward to that JD treat at the end of the day acts as an incentive for me as I spend the day writing and doing other ‘stuff’. Perhaps if you dangled a small reward – something you enjoy only after you’ve written for the day —

    As you know, I work simultaneously on several writing projects. When one runs dry, I switch to another and another – returning to the first after several weeks or even months. It works for me.

    Your writing den does look cold and the feeling is accentuated by your choice of B&W. I agree it would be tough trying to write in freezing conditions.

    That table lamp looks cool – I have a similar one on my writing table, more for décor. The JD looks awfully small 🙂

    As you probably gathered my reply here is all over the place – as the mind slowly, very slowly, gets going this morning.

    The painting you did of your father – Wow! From here, it could almost pass as a photograph. Such talent!

    Here’s wishing all the best, my dear friend, with your writing and revisions.

    Eric

    • My Dear Eric!

      Yes, once again have I been remiss in responding to your fine and kind comments. What a lout am I. I do appreciate your thoughtful reply and superb insights. I, too, work on several things at once, albeit, on a small scale. But at least SOME writing is done in the end. And you’re quite right; that little JD is way too small! Must procure a 1.5 or so. 🙂

      Thank you also for the nice comment about my painting of my Dad. As mentioned in my blog, that discipline as well has suffered tremendously. Of course the brumal conditions do not help in the least.

      Excuses, excuses. No such !@#$@!% thing! Must keep a stiff upper lip, as the Brits are wont to say, and delve deeper into my sundry crafts!

      Thank you, Eric, for delicately lighting a fire under my gluteus.

      Now…back to writing.

      Take care, and to much success in all your varied endeavors!
      Paul 🙂 🙂 🙂

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