Identifying with your Characters

When I'm reading a book, if the writer has done a good job, I soon find myself identifying with the main character(s). When the character is in peril, my heart beats faster and I feel anxious. So shouldn't it be the same when you are the author and writing from you character's point-of-view?

I think so. How can you make this happen?

For me, it's the same way I make sure to remain in the POV character's mind and body. I climb inside that character and look at his or her world through his or her eyes. I see what this person sees. I feel what the main character feels. I address a challenge in the manner that character would. I can smell what the person smells. And I only know what that person knows--which means I have no idea what anyone else is thinking, I can only guess.

When the character is in peril, I have the same emotions that he or she is experiencing. And the same goes if that emotion is revulsion or love.

So what that all means, is that I must then put into words that will convey all that to the reader. Not an easy task, but important.

Of course this is why an old great-grandmother like me can identify with someone like Deputy Tempe Crabtree and what she is experiencing and often having to figure out in order to solve a case. It's also how a male writer can identify and write from a female point of view and vice-versa.

As a reader, do you identify with the main character in a book? Or if you're a writer, how do you identify with your characters?

Latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery--and I'm busy working on the next one in the series, no title as yet.



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