Please hold your applause until the end :)
Anywho, my question for myself and the other writers is this:
How do you get inside your character's world?
I'm almost afraid to tell you guys how I do this because it's a little OCD and a little strange, to say the least. Basically, I stalk my characters. How, you ask? It's quite simple, really.
My latest book, BREATHLESS, takes place in an actual town called Niceville located in Florida. I was there, once, but it was like eighteen years ago, so I don't remember a whole lot. Because I'm the type of person who really likes to get inside my characters' lives/heads I hurried on over the the Remax website and started looking up houses in Niceville. When I found one that fit the location/price range I imagined for my family, I printed out all the pictures (various rooms, street views, yard, etc.) and pinned them up around my work station.
Next, since I write YA, it was time to explore the high school. Again, I googled the local high school and printed out various pictures posted from their website including the athletic fields, front entrance, hallways, etc. But that was not enough. My teen's going to want to grab a coffee before class. So I headed over to google maps and typed in the high school's addy and from there searched for neighboring coffee shops. Not only did I make a note of this on my wall-o-stalker-shame, but I "street viewed" my path the whole way there to get a feel for the area.
And I don't stop there.
My MC makes an anklet from a stone she found at the beach. So what do I do? Search the shelves at Micael's Crafts until I find a bead that closest resembles what I have in mind so I can make an anklet of my own.
Because I'm crazy?
But it's also because I'm a very visual person and surrounding myself with pictures and things that belong to my MC makes her and her world more alive to me. And when you bring the world to life, for me at least, the story practically writes itself.
So how about you? How do you bring your fictional world to life?
Stay tuned until tomorrow when our own feelin'-the-love Rebecca answers this question.