I am happy to say that I spent this past weekend working on book two in my Pandoran Legacy series. No, please sit down, no ovation necessary. Your hearty applause is kudos enough. The follow up to A Stranger’s Child is taking its time to emerge, but every little edit is progress in the making.
Anni, my eighteen year old protagonist, has recently discovered she is a descendent of Pandora and it’s fallen to her to collect the evils that her ancestor released into the mortal world. As you can imagine, that’s a tall order which elicits many a reaction. Let’s not forget, she’s an emotional teenager and naturally sensitive. The intensity of her experiences, both new and nostalgic, offer opportunities for me to delve into her sensory world. She’s had an unusual life so far, and this new twist is equally unprecedented. She responds to these duties in a variety of ways–each decision she makes affects the next. Some experiences good, some bad, some powerful, some humbling.
One key to connecting with the reader is to utilize the senses. The character needs to see, smell, touch, taste, and feel in a way that the reader can identify with. Not just “looking” (that’s the easiest, the most used, and also most overused sense), but putting the reader in the scene with the character. The damp heat of a curl-frizzing sauna. The sweet and spicy aroma of a fresh baked cinnamon-apple pie. The icy bite of a door handle on a gloveless hand in a Midwestern Illinois January. The writer needs to invoke an emotion so strong that even the Californian reader who has never had their fingertips seared to frozen metal can relate.
My Anni’s moods and development are reflective of the things she sees, smells, hears, tastes, and touches. The handsome boy that makes her blush, the tangy thick exhaust of the subway train, the clatter of the switchblade dropping to the blacktop, the delicate pop of the juicy berries on her tongue, and the coolness of the smooth marble column in the forbidden garden.
I’m having a lot of fun living vicariously through her.
I hope my readers will as well.