Getting into the head of 1st person

Discussion about the various aspects of the writing craft.

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Getting into the head of 1st person

Postby PaulaO » 30 Dec 2012, 06:44

I just re-read To Sleep to remind myself of the details so I'd get it right in To Dream. And I realized, again, that the main character (whose head the reader is in) is a sarcastic woman. So it was easy for me to write from her perspective.

But how would I prepare to get into the head of someone who is not like me at all? Like, say, someone who is competitive or athletic or loves moths?
Take a deep breath and count to zen.
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Re: Getting into the head of 1st person

Postby ElaineB » 30 Dec 2012, 08:04

You would probably need to get to know them well enough that you'd be able to say, yes, she'd say/think this, even though I disagree, or no, she wouldn't say/think this, even though I would. Just like you had to get into the head of a character who wakes up on a space ship. You've never been there (well, maybe...), but you figured out how to write about what it would feel like. I'm trying to remember if I've written any characters totally unlike me, but probably they all have some part (even the guys). So there must be some part of you that is competitive, or can imagine what that would be like, or athletic or loves moths (think about your dogs and just turn them into moths!). But you'll probably have to censor yourself. Someone pointed out to me words my character would not likely use due to her background (very unlike mine).
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Re: Getting into the head of 1st person

Postby Sacchi » 30 Dec 2012, 09:21

It's amazing what you can find in the depths of your mind when you create a character who seems at first alien to you.
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