The surprise that stands out in my mind today is how the emotions involved in writing a chapter become so real, as your characters interact with each other and/or their situation and environment.
I hadn’t expected that at all.
Other than the odd short story fiction here and there, grade school and high school writing had been book reports. Reports on someone else’s fiction.
At Carnegie Mellon it was the same thing.
Reporting … on someone else’s work and creativity.
In the professional world it was Engineering reports. Email summaries. Charts in Excel and whatnot.
All facts, just reporting the results.
There was room for creativity in developing a valve stack in a damper (aka shock absorber) to achieve the desired ride characteristics in conjunction with meeting durability requirements.
Problem solving an issue required some creativity. But the process was fairly straightforward.
Overall … it just wasn’t there. At least not the arenas I worked in.
Then one day I decided to put my ideas for an aerospace company on paper.
Then I decided to turn that potential business plan into a novel.
“Imagine if … ”
Then, one night watching the TV series ‘Castle’, I got it, the main plot.
At that point it became a science fiction thriller. More plot devices came into play.
I started writing.
That’s when I discovered how much emotion can be felt simply by writing. The creation process, how a character feels and how you could feel the same way.
Then I realized that the feeling was actually first and that was the only way to get that emotion into the page.
What will my character think?
How will they react?
The only way to answer these and other questions was to create the character’s life first, aka the character sketch.
The emotions would flow from there.
I love it 😀