Right now I’m putting the final polish on MORE THAN MOST. (I’m so thrilled with how it’s turned out and I can’t wait to share it!) At this point in the process, I usually spend my days walking around the house reading the manuscript aloud. I look for anything that stands out: repetitive or missing words, odd phrasing in dialogue, continuity issues, moments when an emotional reaction would up the intensity of the scene, that kind of thing.
I’m also at the point where I know the story so well that I sometimes start “acting out” certain parts. Every time I read the same scene over and over, I make hand gestures and facial expressions when the characters do. I lick my lips when they do. I move when and how they do. (And let me just say, I’m so glad no one has a camera anywhere near me during this phase of the writing process.)
So I thought it might be fun to share some of the specific moments from my books where I caught myself really stepping into the role of the characters.
So in no particular order, here are my more embarrassing moments as a writer:
- I squeezed my eye shut imitating Walter when Kevin punched him, and then dabbed at the “tender” skin below my eye. (HOW TO SAVE A LIFE)
- I banged my fist on my desk when Luke did the same on a diner table after talking with his father. (MORE)
- I limped around the house like Richard after he’d twisted his ankle. (MORE THAN MOST)
- I went to scoop up little Jessica and carry her through the house like Lincoln did when Nancy’s place was on fire. (BREATHE)
- I shoved open the (non-existent) bathroom stall door and stormed across the room when Lincoln found out who the man was that he’d kissed. (BREATHE)
- I squinted as the wind whipped around Evan when he was trapped in the blizzard, even though I was writing that book in the middle of summer. (TAKE ME HOME)
- I raised my arm to shuffle Mateo into his apartment just as Grady did when he finally located him. (I SWEAR TO YOU)
- I picked up the pace when Mark raced after Scott when Scott freaked out and ran out of Mark’s apartment after they’d tried to spend their first night together. (MORE THAN JUST A GOOD BOOK)
- I puffed out my cheeks when Sean stuffed his mouth with two dinner rolls when he’d first met Gavin. (SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN)
And perhaps the MOST embarrassing:
- I reached for my dick (of which I do not have) when Walter told Kevin to touch himself. And I did it again every single time I read that scene. (HOW TO SAVE A LIFE)
Now that’s dedication, right? Or a really, REALLY nutty writer, I’m not sure which.
I’ll just say I’m very passionate about my work and leave it at that.