Before I began writing Vicious Little Darlings, I thought I had a pretty good idea of who my narrator was. Her name was Sarah Weaver, and she was a brown-eyed, raven-haired seventeen-year-old from California. I knew Sarah’s religious beliefs, past experiences, fears, weaknesses, and talents. I even knew her thoughts on Justin Timberlake. Feeling fairly prepared, I began to write.
Thirty pages into my first draft, I realized I didn’t know Sarah at all. The pages were lifeless; her voice was flat. Sarah said what I wanted her to say, and she did what the plot required her to do, but she didn’t feel like a real person. She existed solely in the left hemisphere of my brain—though I didn’t know that at the time—and hadn’t yet come to life. I threw away my pages and spent the rest of the day trying to get to know her. Frantic brainstorming ensued. I interviewed Sarah, free wrote, drank a lot of coffee, free wrote some more. Still, she eluded me. Maybe what I needed was to relax, I thought, and to let my mind wander. I ran a bath. I lit candles and waited for inspiration to strike. Nothing happened. Frustrated, I decided to sit at my desk and try writing again, but three dull paragraphs and an hour later, I was exhausted. It was midnight, and I needed sleep.
When my head hit the pillow, a strange and magical thing occurred. I heard a voice in my head. It was a voice I didn’t recognize, but I knew that it belonged to Sarah. Though I had heard about this kind of thing from other writers, I’d never experienced it firsthand. My subconscious was now engaged, and Sarah, in her own words, was telling me about her life. She was sassy, snarky, and a little bit angry, and she wouldn’t stop talking. I turned on the light and wrote down everything she said.
Writing didn’t exactly become easy after that, but it became easier. I realized that it was when I stopped trying to define, control, judge, or even think about Sarah that she sprang to life. I learned that I didn’t have to force the writing; I just had to let go and trust my narrator. And when I did that, interesting things began to happen. --Katherine Easer
Katherine Easer is the author of Vicious Little Darlings. You can visit her at: www.katherineeaser.com
THANK YOU Katherine for a brilliant guest post. Those are exactly the kinds of stories readers want to know. I wish you much success on the books release!
Be Sure and check out Katherine's novel VICIOUS LITTLE DARLINGS (Hits shelves June 21st 2011). It's one of my favorite novels this year! Put this one down on your to be read list IMMEDIATELY. You can read my review ->HERE<- and see how I gushed away about it even before I knew how awesome the author was. ;)