Inside your characters

I’m one of those writers who lets my character do the acting. Quite often, I’m not sure what particular character will do and am often surprised by their actions. When I’m describing the who, what, where, when, and why, the scene is quickly boring. I must get inside the body and mind of the character and let him or her see, feel, and respond to the situation. If I can lose my ego and become the character, the scene flows well and is authentic. This isn’t always easy to do.

Of course the character is my invention, so she will have my thoughts as the genesis of her will, but as a story progresses, she personifies her role and becomes an actor on the stage, with unique patterns of behavior and judgement. As an example, Take Ai-mei, the villain’s accomplice in The Ruby Spider Conspiracy. She believes fervently that all the world’s troubles result from overpopulation and the only solution is to kill off ninety percent of the people on earth. Crazy, you say. Not to her.

Ai-mei has only a few POV appearances in the book, but when she is on-stage,  I must enter the mind of this woman and identify with her concerns and prejudices. I see the people she has seen suffering and struggling, living in overcrowded slums, unable to get enough food, medical attention, or education. I’m angry at a world that allows this and keeps bringing more children into this veil of tears.

Damir, on the other hand is not concerned with any of this. he smuggled weapons to both sides of many conflicts and was eventually caught. He retained his freedom by going to work for international security firms that smuggle weapons to nations favored by the United Nations. He lives dangerously, but has been infatuated with Raisa from the time he first met her. His main goal in the story is to marry Raisa.

Raisa, the antagonist, is driven by guilt. She created the tool that allows manufacturing the nanobot plagues that kill billions. When used as weapons, these nanobot cultures  are capable of