When I am working on a new idea I usually get that incredible time right at the beginning where I am introduced to the idea and the main characters. It can be deep and intense where I feel completely possessed by the person or people the story is about or it can be a sweeping time, encompassing everything and giving a broad overview of the book itself. Either way it is one of my favorite things because I get to jump into this whole new world.
Crash is going to be different in a way because I have already met Craig Stillwell. He appears in Sharing Strength and so as I was beginning that story we were introduced. I know him yet I need to know more. The broad strokes of his art have been placed but I am now working to understand the color palette, the fine lines and details and most importantly, the feeling behind the painting. He is a masterpiece waiting to be released, it is just a matter of finding where to start.
When I get to the point of identifying and focusing on details I find I struggle. It is then that I need to take a step back and meditate. I have different methods of doing so but the most important part is that I open my mind to what the character or characters may have to share with me. Knowing who I am writing about and what their goals are is vital to helping the reader connect with the story.
For me meditation can be found many ways. I have gone for drives and had those "ah ha" moments while watching the mile markers passing by. Hikes have been another effective way to reach out mentally while putting my body to work in other ways. Yoga is one of my favorite meditations because as I am allowing my instructor to lead me through the positions I find my mind making the most fascinating discoveries.
If all of these methods fail I put on the playlist I have created for the book and sit alone in a room. I close my eyes to let the music take control. Some people I know will sit in lotus or a similar position. I tend to lie down instead and take deep relaxing breathes. It is almost as though I am going to sleep. I may or may not mouth the words of the songs, the important part is the connection. As soon as I lose myself in the music my mind can open up and talk to the characters. I usually do not get to that point until I am halfway through a book but as I mentioned I have already written a good deal about Craig in Sharing Strength. I am beginning a new book while experiencing the same thing as being in the middle of the story. After I workout this afternoon it looks like I will be taking the time to venture deeper into the subconscious world to talk to Craig and get to know more about his story.