I’ve taken to really settling in my story environments. I am looking around as if I am the character so that I can give you more depth and connection to the stories I want to tell. By this I mean, I literally move through a pre-set amount of time in a day where I navigate as if I am the character I’m writing about to see what sensory details stand out to them.
Now mind you, I’m not following killers and thinking I need to emulate them in order to get a better understanding of how they think. But, for one character in “The Coven” (title may change now that it’s a television show on AMC with the same title, I haven’t decided), who doesn’t live in a brick and mortar house, I want to see how she would navigate in places or situations that are of no consequence to you or me. For example, what looks amazing to her when she is inside of a building? What may look out of place? What is scary or exciting? These are the things that I’m looking at. I’m also wondering how familial structures that differ from hers make her question if how she is being raised is good, bad or indifferent.
I’m trying not to over-think the story because then I stall and then it becomes an excuse not to write. When I’m reading books, I don’t usually care about the curtains, the wooden floor, the backyard, the smell of burnt cornbread, none of the sensory details because I just want to read and hear how the dialogue will move me through the story. But as a writer, I know that those same details that I skip over are what makes a story real for others. So that’s why I’m trying to take the time to get to those layers but not just for filler, but to make sure when I use them they have an intrinsic value to the story.
So try this if you’d like. Take ten to fifteen minutes and react and flow through a portion of your day in the eyes of your character and see something anew.
Write to see the world through words.