Just open a vein...
I seem to recall some writer using the phrase, opening a vein. I can't recall the name (not unusual for me) but I do remember he or she was talking about how to write with truth and emotion. Digging deep into your psyche and letting it come out through the character.
I'm reading Daggers & Men's Smiles by Jill Downie at the moment, and will be reviewing it this weekend on Mystery Maven Canada. It takes place on Guernsey and
Writers are like actors in that sense. You can fake the setting to a certain degree, relying on research and observation even if you're lacking the sense of place that comes from being raised in a location. You can certainly research all the forensic information you'll ever need to use in a crime novel. But how do you get the characters' real?
Do we have to suffer in our own lives in order to portray a sleuth who's been jaded by events? Can the feelings of grief be evoked and set on the page? Does a writer need a degree in psychology in order to get the characters right?
Or do we try to know our characters so deeply that they react naturally in a scene?
Or is there a tacit agreement between writer and reader that you can keep your veins closed and just write a damn good novel with believable characters, a sharp mystery and a setting that sweeps you away...and all will be accepted?
On the other hand, there's a saying we all use...'it's all research'! So suffer away?
Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime