In one of the links below, the writer states that there are three sets of emotions involved in a story – those brought through the writer, the characters’ and the readers’. I agree with this analysis and would add that the writer’s responsibility is to build strong connective bridges to link the three.
My way of doing this is to immerse myself in the characters’ viewpoint. It can be a tad bit exhausting, but this method works for me. In 2004, I wrote a novel about an eleven-year-old girl who discovered that the woman raising her was not her birth mother. Christine combined a direct approach (asking a multitude of questions) with some underhanded stuff (going through her auntie’s letters) to find her biological mother.
That novel is under consideration with a publisher and even now people who reviewed the story years ago still ask what I’ve done with it and comment along the lines of what a vivid character Christine made.
To bring that little girl to life, I had to walk with her through a season of discovery, grief, rejection, hope and joy. In short, I had to become her. Now I can’t and don’t recommend this for everybody, as it can get exhausting depending on the story I’m telling, BUT I write my characters that much better from having walked around in their skin for months on end.
How do you capture your characters’ emotions? Do you use your own experiences? Transfer other people’s encounters to your stories? Or do you go from plain old imagination?
The food of the day is eggplant or what Europeans call aubergine(we call it garden egg). Dunno how it came to Jamaica, but since its origin is Asia, my best guess would be that the Indians and Chinese who came as indentured labourers brought some along with them. It’s diced and steamed with codfish, or it can be seasoned with onions, pepper, tomatoes and eaten as a dish by itself. Of course, if you don't like eating the aubergine/egg plant, there are other fun things you can do with it.