Most of you know, I come from a stage background, and when I changed my major and went to law school I thought those wasted years were the end of the world--until I started writing YA. Because methods for charicterization and stake building I learned for stage translate easy into my writing.
I've been contemplating writing two very different paranormal romances at once. The worlds, characters and "rules" of reality will be very different. And anyone who has ever tried to live in multiple worlds at once can tell this is very difficult. To make it easier on myself I've decided to write in character.
You're probably wondering what on earth I mean by that. Doesn't everyone who writes in the first person write in character?
Well, probably not like this. I've decided that on days I'm writing Katie's story, I'm going to be Katie (who is actually Rachel) and on days I'm writing Emily, I'll be Emily (who is just Emily, thank God).
Katie is a Vegas show girl. I'll start with sexy heels and build a show girl costume complete with jewelry and make up around it. The bottom up technique always starts with the shoes. Shoes matter. They have a serious effect on your posture and often your confidence. Not to mention a character who spends 14 hours on her feet would most likely not wear the same shoes as someone who sits in an office, or moves at leisure.
You've heard the expression, "walk a mile in his shoes," and the bottom up technique wants you to do just that. Because by walking in your character shoes, by being confined to their wardrobe you start to understand their movements and reactions better.
Emily is an Arkansas school girl. She wants to be comfortable but cute. I see her in flip-flops with a skirt that rides above the knees and a tank top. Very different, from Katie's risque dress and four inch heels. And Katie has some skeletons in her closet but those four inch shoes are hard to walk in, don't you know? ;)
If you get stuck this week, I challenge you to walk a mile in your character's shoes.