You know what I did this weekend?
I watched movies. Not many movies. One movie.
and over, again!
I watched it until I absorbed every nuance of the hero and heroine. I can recite entire passages and sing complete songs. I remember clothing, drinks and scenery.
THAT's how I begin writing a book, by studying the movies.
What did I learn? I now have a basis, a starting point for my hero. The hero in this movie is not someone I'd ever feature in my books, but I loved his mannerisms, his facial expressions, his movements -- everything that made that made the heroine fall for him.
I want my heroine to fall for my hero, just like that.
I think watching movies is a great way to learn a character. You study them and get a feel for how they would react to situations. Let's face it. We can come up with great story lines, great settings, great GMC, but if we don't understand how a character ticks, we'll mess up the reactions and ruin the whole thing.
Why do you think certain movies just stick in our heads? It's because we identify with it in some miniscule way. For me, watching this romantic movie time on end over our snowy weekend provided the right understanding for a character in need of embodying the proper compassion.
BTW, I wasn't at total sloth. While watching the movie, I did manage to prepare meals, fold laundry, and straighten out my office. My family will keep me.
Amazing how we can multi task when the incentative is right : )