What I'm reading: Foxfire, by Carol Ann Erhardt
What I'm writing: End of Chapter 25; maybe time to start 26.
Mixed feelings about a special meeting of our RWA chapter today. We hosted a tea for booksellers and librarians. Although I fit the definition of a published author, with only e-pubs at the moment, I wasn't their target market. However, once the Wild Rose Press anthology is released, I'll have something in print and might even make a book-signing. Meanwhile, everyone wants to be Roxanne St. Claire, who just finished her 17th book. If she wasn't so dang nice, it would be easy to be jealous.
The tea was followed by a hilarious lesson in developing empathy for your characters to help stress show, don't tell. We worked in pairs. One was blindfolded while our speaker described a scenario and the 'sighted' partner helped act it out. For the first, the 'victim' was told she had to seduce someone wearing poisoned lipstick (which the partner applied to her lips) and then couldn't let her lips touch or she'd poison herself. To pass a test, she had to eat live grubs (gummy bears), and then there was a shooting (bubble wrap). For part 2, the partners reversed roles, and this time is was the day after Cinderella married her Prince Charming. The kicker was when we were running our hands down our handsome prince's chest, traveling lower and lower until--the partner placed something in our hands. Nothing like touching a Vienna sausage while blindfolded.
The workshop did drive home the point of trying to get deep into your characters' senses and emotional responses and try to convey that to your readers. And it also showed us how differently each of us responds to the same stimulus, based on past experience.