Thursday, May 20, 2010

Method Writing

Supposedly Daniel Day Lewis is a total method actor, immersing himself so fully in his roles he'll only answer to his character name, even if it's his wife calling. (Wonder how much fun she had when he was working on Gangs of New York.) Method acting always seemed a bit extreme to me, until now. Because I'm experiencing method writing. Uh-huh.

Right now I'm going through my second novel trying to make sure my current MC (Roisin)sounds nothing like the MC from my first novel (Trudie). I had a hard time shaking Trudie--she's funny and sarcastic and full of sass. I was a lot more fun to be around when writing about her world. Roisin is introverted and contemplative--and about halfway through writing this second novel all I wanted to do was hole up in my bedroom and ignore the world. I can see the point where Roisin seeped in; at around Chapter 15 she lost any trace of Trudie-ness.

Does this happen to you guys? Do you adopt the traits of the characters you've grown so close to? Or am I creeping you out?

Soon I'll leave Roisin and head into my new novel, told from four perspectives--2 male, 2 female. And it's about sex. So for four to six months will I be schizo? And a perv? Hmmm...


  1. How interesting! Not so much with my picture books, but I can see where that would happen.

  2. Haha. I wouldn't say I'm a method writer, but I try to listen to the kind of music my MC would, as I write. Also, I eat the kind of food they like. Ironically, they seem to (all) enjoy loads of peanut M&Ms, Twizzlers and macaroons. How very strange!

  3. Not being a writer, I can't comment on that exact experience exactly, but I can say that after I've watched or read a character for awhile I start to adopt his or her traits. I recall a period in college where I was watching way too much Ab Fab and I practically morphed into Edina. And there was a Scarlett O'Hara period I had while reading GWTW as a young lass.

  4. I don't think I adopt the traits of my MC. I certainly adopt her ability to swim. ;)