This next bit’s going to be painful, but it’s my favourite part. I’ve written the first draft of my novel, and am about to embark on my second.
This is when the characters will take shape, but for that to happen, I’m going to have to get into their heads and feel what they’re feeling. Flinging yourself over a six-foot-high wall to save someone’s life? I’m in. Finding out your husband’s told you a huge lie? Yep – here I come.
Switch on FaceTime by mistake in the middle of this draft and I’ll see my own brow knitted, or my lip curled into a snarl. It’s not going to be pretty, but it’s essential.
This is method acting for writers. I’m going to be a 43-year-old woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown, an Italian man who’s a cross between Benicio del Toro and my friend’s husband, and an elderly man paralysed down his left side.
I’m going to have to dig deep. Imagination, yes; a bad mood, most probably; yet another frown line, you bet. And masses of research.
This time around I’ll be rewriting and editing with this word on replay: Emotion. Emotion. Emotion.