I’m rewarding myself with a quick update today. I am only doing this because I did not just meet but far exceeded the goals for this week.
Oh, and because I have a bizarre observation about myself as a writer that perhaps only other writers will understand.
My novel is written from two viewpoints. One is that of Jill – the woman who finds herself haunted by the ghost of a player she called on the carpet in a bar the night he left the living and joined the dead. That one comes easy to me. The other is Jay … the hapless dead naked man-whore who struggles to figure out who offed him when the only person who seems to realize he is still hanging around is a chick who couldn’t stand him in life.
Over the last week or so, I have written a few scenes that include extensive dialogue with a police officer. I realized while writing them that although I’ve snarfed down crime novels for dinner my entire adult life, I still worry that I’m a little off-base when I’m trying to make my cop talk like a cop. I am going to line up a law enforcement friend or two and beg, plead and coerce them to read my book when I’m done to either confirm that my investigator is on point or help me flesh him out.
That’s not so weird, in and of itself. I’ve never been a policewoman or worked in any type of law enforcement. I’ve never been arrested. I’ve never been a victim of a crime. My experience with law enforcement is limited to reading others’ portrayals of investigators and chatting with police friends in the pub.
What’s weird about it is that I have these qualms about writing my officer’s dialogue, so much so that I want a reader who will give me some honest, hard-core help with my cop. At the same time, half the novel is being written from the perspective of a guy who is dead, naked and a man-whore.
– Not a man
– Not a whore
– Not known to run around naked
– Not dead
Yet so far, writing him has caused me no anxiety or second-guessing whatsoever.
Maybe this is just because dead naked man-whores aren’t real, so I know I have a little leeway in creating him. Or perhaps I’ve just accepted that with him I must simply put my best imagination to work, since I’m not likely to find a dead naked man-whore to read a few excerpts and tell me whether or not I’ve nailed it. I could perhaps find a live one, if I had the moxie to canvas local bars with a “help wanted: Slutty dude to read work-in-progress and tell me if I’ve accurately captured the man-ho mindframe” sign.
But I don’t really feel like I need to. I just know, somehow, that Jay the Man-Whore is who he needs to be.
So yeah, that’s my weird writerly observation of the week. I can write from the POV of a slutty male ghost with total confidence, but I need help with my police officer.
What character has given you the most challenge when writing, or come surprisingly easy to you?