When working on a new story or developing your characters sometimes a token can help.
By token I mean something tangible that your character would wear, eat or use.
For example a fedora, Peanut M&Ms or maybe they’re addicted to checking their horoscope.
Getting into character and creating a consistent persona can be easier if you gather beside you a token or two. For example, if your character eats Peanut M&Ms all the time then you too may start eating them when you’re writing.
It’s not crazy, I promise! And it really works. It helps you relate to the character. The trick , of course, is identifying a token that you can adopt safely and consistently. For example, if your character is always slamming tequila shots then you probably don’t want to adopt that habit! But you could try a tequila shot or two if you’ve never had one.
I tend to appreciate jewelry. For Cheating Time (currently under review by The Wild Rose Press) I acquired a watch much like the watch my protagonist found in the first pages of the story. It worked a bit too well and I had some kinda creepy experiences. (Perhaps I’ll share my ghost stories another time.)
For the current series that I’m working on my character is quite tough. She drives a jeep, her “uniform” is a white t-shirt, jeans and cowboy boots, and she doesn’t take any grief from anyone. However, she’s also a woman and not afraid to express that side of herself.
I wanted to find an extremely feminine yet powerful necklace or charm that represented her. Thus, Nike the goddess of victory. A quick trip to Etsy and I found a beautiful necklace that was perfect for my character. I purchased the item and three days later it’s sitting on my desk providing inspiration. (and of course it’s much cheaper than buying a yellow jeep!)
The next time you’re creating a character or if you’re having difficulty maintaining a consistent connection with your book’s primary characters consider adopting a token to keep you on track.