So I’m in the midst of editing my second book. The scenes are becoming more vivid with each rewrite, each imagining of what exactly the characters are sensing and reacting to. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite parts of the writing process; trying to get into the head of the character, see what he sees and smell what she smells.
Which is kind of impossible, at least in real life. We all perceive things so differently. Who’s to say that we even see the color red the same way? What if magically we were able to see through someone else’s consciousness filter (similar to what these crazy awesome geniuses are doing) and come to find that Billy Bob’s version of red is really blue to us?
It’s something that I think all writers are painfully aware of. We want so badly to paint a scene exactly how we see it in our own minds, but know that in all likelihood none of the readers will share our precise vision.
And the characters themselves probably wouldn’t experience what we writers are throwing at them in the way we’d imagine them to, at least not if they were real. Sure, we can describe their reactions, their thoughts and emotions. But we’re all known for adding our own memories and experiences to our stories from time to time.
So does this mean our characters simply become extensions of ourselves and our own perceptions of the world? We can make each one of them unique, we can try to create personalities that are completely opposite from our own, but ultimately, do our own perceptions limit our ability to create completely new minds and unique awarenesses?
Or do I just need to lay off the coffee for a while?