Experiencing life thanks to fictional characters

Something I find incredibly funny is the fact that I sometimes mimic the small actions of characters that I write about. I do it intentionally to make sure that I got the details right about what I wrote. If there is some new thought, sensation, or description that I can add to my work as a result of my real life experience, than my mimicking paid off.

Today, I got to drink a delicious mug of hot chocolate, full to the brim with giant marshmallows. Just think, if I wasn’t a writer, I might have missed out on enjoying the pictured delightful sugary treat all together.

At the back of my edition of C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, Lewis talks about how writing from a demon’s perspective was a negative experience for him. As authors, we delve deeply into the worlds of our characters, exploring their thoughts and actions even when they are completely foreign to us personally. Empathy. Its part of what makes a good story seem so real.

I don’t know exactly how empathy and my tendency to mimic will work when I start writing about dragons and pointy-teethed evil little children in the future, but I look forward to finding out.

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