Thursday, March 12, 2015

Authors are a funny bunch. I’m not sure if you know that (if you are one, well, you know it. But if you’re mostly a reader, this might be news.) 

One of the things I do (and I know I’m not alone in doing it) when I get stuck trying to figure out the physical actions of my characters is... act it out. Now, as I generally write romance, I usually need a second person for my scenes. Enter my very understanding husband, who is an incredibly good sport.

Usually it goes something like this: we’re hanging out in the evening, each doing our own thing. I’m writing, he’s reading or playing a game. I hit a snag. First, I set the laptop aside and try to figure out how whatever I’m trying to write should work. (Honestly, I have the worst time figuring out if the people are sitting or standing in such a way that they can comfortably hold hands. You’d think that’d be pretty straightforward, but for whatever reason, I struggle.) After a few frustrating minutes, I say, “Hey. Can I borrow you a second?”

He usually shrugs and says, “Sure.”

So I set the scene, going over the dialog leading up to the point and what’s going on. And then there are a million awkward attempts to hold hands reminiscent of first dates in high school. Eventually I figure it out after moving us around and trying out various things (and sometimes he even has some good suggestions – though usually he just rolls his eyes at me.) Then I pick up the laptop and get back to work.

It’s helpful though – and so if you’re a writer, I heartily recommend acting out the scenes that are giving you fits. And sometimes, if you’re having your husband help out, go ahead and act out those kisses, because even if that’s not what’s causing a struggle, it’ll make him less hesitant about helping out the next time.

In my latest release, A Splash of Substance, I didn’t have very many scenes that I needed to act out until after I got my edits back. When Paige and Jackson hang out and watch the fireworks on the 4th of July early on in the book, I had them sitting next to each other on a picnic blanket. And then there was a hip bump. Now, if you think about it, the last time you bumped someone’s hip with yours, you were probably walking. Go ahead, sit next to someone and bump their hip. (That’s now been fixed, so you won’t get to snicker when you read it and wonder what kind of contortionists I’m writing about.)

You can find A Splash of Substance on Amazon. It’s also available for Nook, on iTunes, and Kobo.

Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.

Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website or on Facebook:


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