I don’t know about you, but the ‘find fifteen minutes of writing time’ just doesn’t work for me. I need to sit, and get back to where I’ve been. And, I’ve been frustrated because that sucks up my writing time.
Lately tho, I’ve been thinking it is more. More than getting back. More me becoming. Me. This writer. Becoming him. I AM that character. And, yet, I worry about him when we’re not together. I feel guilty when I leave him sitting beside a fence. Or, in the middle of a conversation with his brother. But I also know, when I leave him, it’s because I can’t figure out where we’re going next.
I know the common wisdom is to write a character sketch about each in your cast. I can do that for everyone but the MC. And I think I’ve realized why.
Did you ever hear of the ‘game’ BAFA BAFA? The game was developed by the US Navy to counteract that 1960’s issue, The Ugly American. In the game, a class of people are divided into two societies and placed in separate rooms. Each of the societies develops differently. One is very laid back with a male hierarchy and very touchy-feely rules. The other is very strict, with taboos and restrictions and a meritocracy. Doesn’t sound complicated at all, right? Ah. But here’s the catch! Emissaries from each culture are exchanged. Emissaries are NOT allowed to ask direct questions. They must, by observation and inference, determine what is important in the other culture. And, every single time I used this in corporate training trying to get, say, the sales department to understand the operations department, every time, both cultures got all the details WRONG!
That’s impossible, you may say. And the answer is NO! It’s not. Why? Because, most of us just are. We don’t really ‘know’ who made red a stop and green a go. Or, why we say the Sign of the Cross at Mass only with our right hand. We just do. It’s not stuff we think about.
Back to my MC. I know a lot of stats about him. I’ve got his file. But I don’t know why he’d react in one way, or another because I can’t ask him directly. Now some may say, that’s how you write. You’ve made up this person in the first place. You can have him react any way you want. True. Very true. But sometimes, just sometimes, when I think Aaron should be mad about something, I realize, no, he is really frightened. Or just simply relieved that the world didn’t end!
So. Fifteen minutes. Nope. Not enough time for me to be Aaron. Yep. I need to schedule my time better 🙂