That Tingling Feeling


Yesterday, that tingling feeling cascaded down from the crown of my head to my toes again while I was writing.  One character in particular had triggered this wonderful cascade.  This sensation tells me each time I’ve experienced it that I’ve had a creative breakthrough of some sort and what I’ve learned is absolutely right.  I feel the rightness viscerally — that tingling feeling — bypassing my brain. 

I had not done my usual character prep work on the triggering character — she’s new to the Perceval books — as an experiment.  I wanted to discover her as I wrote.  I usually discover additional personality traits and backstory anyway as I write the characters I’ve done prep for, but this was like snorkeling in unfamiliar waters.  I had begun the third book, in which she appears, with certain ideas about her, most of which have remained.  But the thing that changed was a piece of backstory, i.e. who her father was.  I had thought he was a security operative.  Yesterday, while writing a scene between her and Evan Quinn, it suddenly hit me — the security operative wasn’t her father.  No.  Her father was a high-ranking politician in her home country (not America).  And Evan had had an encounter with her father in book 1 that would cause her to hate Evan.  Oh, my.  I had just deepened her motivation for her behavior toward Evan and complicated his life.  I love it when that happens.  I’ve learned it can’t be forced or predicted or planned.  It happens when it happens and I need to be open everyday to it.

On book 1, I had a huge breakthrough after writing 9 or 10 drafts and I’d written a rough draft screenplay to solve structure problems.  Suddenly, the relationship between Evan and Vasia Bartyakov changed toward the end of the book in a way I hadn’t anticipated at all.  My imagination just thrust it onto the page.  I was shocked, upset.  I couldn’t continue writing that day.  But I had that tingling feeling again.  I knew my imagination was right.  When I returned to that chapter the next day, I ran with the change.  As I worked on book 2, I realized that change in their relationship would haunt Evan’s life for the rest of the series and give his development momentum. 

I now call my imagination “The Tingler.”  Unlike the horror movie monster of the same or similar name, I have nothing to fear from this Tingler…..

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One response to “That Tingling Feeling

  1. Woohoo! Gotta love that ‘I just got that RIGHT’ feeling. Good stuff.

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