One of the things common to us all is that at some point in our life we will have been under pressure or stress. Be it a moment that jumped up in front of us, say a bank robbery or seeing someone about to be hit by a car, or whether that it is the slow build up of a situation which requires us to endure some sort of pain to see it through, we have all had experience of these things.
When writing, especially action and adventure, or dark fantasy, there are situations where the characters are in wild moments I have never faced and one wonders how they would react. Personally, I have never looked a demon from the deep in the eye, swung from a hangman’s noose or faced strange creatures intent on taking my head off. And the only way I know to generate these feelings is to drift into the characters shoes, drawing on my own reactions to horrors I have had in my own life. Not that my life has been a rollercoaster of disaster, it’s been bloomin’ good to be honest. But we all have the well of dark moments to draw from.
Sometimes people say my books would look great in a movie, or that they could see it as a TV drama and I think I know why. When I write, I write describing the movie in my head. The creatures move for me, I hear the drop in the noose, I look into those demon eyes. And I then feel what comes. I don’t see words, I see pictures and then the job is to put that picture into words. The further distillation by the reader reversing the process hopefully brings the movie back to life.
It begs the question, are my characters real to me? Only in my head, only in the movie. And that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t want a mad cap professor summoning up who knows what, an emotional father pulled from his family by every woman that walks past, or an ice cold winged femme fatale. Life is weird enough. And by putting these people under pressure the real emotions come out and hopefully the real life heroic decisions we make or fail to make, get brought to the surface.
If you haven’t got it already, you can purchase the first Austerley & Kirkgordon novel “Crescendo!” here. Read it quick as the follow up “The Darkness at Dillingham” is coming very, very soon!