Thursday, January 19, 2012

Catching Thoughts

It's occurred to me that I spend a lot of my time trying to crawl into my characters heads. Their minds are a mystery to me and it's my job to figure them out so that I can put them on the page for my readers enjoyment and entertainment. Like any skill or repetitive action it's best to employ this aspect of writing great romance on a regular basis. For example, look at my dog Misha in the photo. What do you guess he's thinking about? I can tell you that quite often on this very walk we run into a herd of deer--10-12, minimum. Misha is Russian-born and loves the cold, so the below-freezing temps are a joy to him.
Some characters are easier to dissect than others. If I've had the same profession or lived through the same or similar situation, I can draw on my own experience to add to my hero or heroine's authenticity. Come to think of it, I've almost always had a similar experience--emotionally. I may not have faced all the conflicts that my characters have but I've certainly at least known someone who has. And it's my observation that emotions are universal--we all have them, we all share them. Hence why I love writing romance and relationship books. I get to delve deeply into my heroine's heart--and her hero's. I get to see what connects all of us at the most basic level.
The romantic in me believes that Misha intuitively connects to what's important. Spending time with my dog helps me stay grounded and keep my stories and characters on track, too.

14 comments:

Jeannie Watt said...

Hi Geri--Misha is bautiful! Did you bring him back from Moscow?

When I was in high school and we were studying Eugene O'Neill, my teacher explained that we can identify with people very different from ourselves due to the universality of emotions. That really stuck with me.

Mary Brady said...

Misha would love it at my house right now. Three degrees F. and windy. He looks like a serious doggie, a good protector.

Am glad not to have to suffer the things SuperRomance characters do, but I do get some of the rewards anyway.

Geri Krotow said...

Yes, Jeannie, we rescued Misha in Moscow. So grateful to have him! Mary, he'd LOVE to come by you. I think he actually misses the -29 temps in Russia. Although he only had one winter there. He's survived the great summer fires of 2010. Like Super characters, he's a survivor!

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

Hi Geri,

So glad Misha survived the fires. He is a beautiful dog. Pets can provide so much comfort and inspiration.

Kathy Altman said...

Hi there, Geri! Thank you so much for sharing a pic of your beautiful dog Misha. It makes me pine for a puppy, but my cats are extremely intolerant. :-) We definitely have a wide range of characters and emotions to identify with in Superromance--I love that it's such a creative yet realistic mix. Oh--please pet Misha for me. :-)

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Geri,

Misha is gorgeous and that walk looks terrific as well.

My dog is a tiny, white, fluffy mutt. Last night when it was dark and freezing, but crystal clear here, she set off for our walk with her head up and her tail waving. She looked delighted to be heading into the wind. Kind of inspired me to stop hunching into my coat and actually enjoy the winter night walk.

If I didn't have a dog, there's no way I'd have been outside last night, let alone tramping around for a mile or so. I've been doing great brainstorming while I walk her.

Joan Kilby said...

Geri, our cat is named Misha, too, but being an Aussie she likes the heat. And my dog Toby (a Jack Russell) has the most soulful, emotion-filled eyes I've ever seen on a dog. Unfortunately he's not much help with my writing though, as he's the strong, silent type.

Did you have to quarantine Misha when you came back to the States? In Australia it's six months, a definite deterrent to bringing in pets from overseas.

Snookie said...

Misha is beautiful. It is amazing to me how each of you authors write. I can just imagine you trying to crawl into your character's heads to see what they're thinking. As a reader, I like to put myself in the character's place and tell them you should be doing this or that.

Kaelee said...

Misha would love it here right now as we have been having a very cold snap. The highest it got today was -20 C about -4 F. He's a beautiful dog. I love the riverbank you walk him along.

Like Snookie said it is interesting to read about all the ways authors write.

Off topic a bit ~~ if Jeannie or Ellen are around I went to a wild food buffet today ~ I had goat along with buffalo and alligator.

Sonya Natalia said...
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Sonya Natalia said...

LOL well my BROTHER is Misha! No pets here.

It was 92 Fahrenheit here today, so definitely not the place for a Russian dog!

(Something weird happened to my other post!)

Debra Salonen said...

Beautiful pic, Geri. I've gotten some important plot/character info while on a walk with my dogs. It's like the lulling affect on the brain that happens when I fold clothes--only a lot more fun.

Deb

JV said...

Geri, I agree that some dogs and probably other animals, as well, can get a "read" on a person almost immediately. Just as animals can sense your fear, I've known dogs that seem to know intuitively when someone has evil ulterior motives. I've seen dogs that normally are overtly friendly and accepting of everyone suddenly bristle and avoid or even growl at one person.

I know I'd take a second look at that person if my dog reacted that way. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to read people in that way immediately? I don't necessarily mean know everything they're thinking. That could be creepy and overwhelm you with TMI, but just to instinctively feel on first meeting whether a person is kind or cold, overbearing or easy-going, etc., would be nice!

By the way, your Misha is lovely!

JV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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