Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Dreaming the Characters of your Novel

I am currently writing the third book in my Redcliffe Novels series. What started out as one story has developed into a whole series of novels, which follow the adventures of bookshop owner Jessica Stone in the fictional seaside town of Redcliffe in Cornwall, England. Not only am I writing the third book which will form a trilogy, but after that I have planned out books four, five and six as Jessica Stone begins a new phase in her life, brought about by her relationships with vampires, werewolves and witches.

Jessica Stone is sort of modelled on me. She is taller, sexier and tougher than I am, so effectively she is me in a parallel universe. Being the author, I have the luxury of passing on my favourite traits to my heroine, while adding those that I wish could be mine in real life.  It is a fun task.

But, recently a strange thing has happened. I actually dreamed that I was Jessica, and that I was interacting with Danny Mason, the werewolf protagonist from my Redcliffe novels. It was bizarre. I fell asleep one night, my head buzzing with the latest twists and turns in my plot, mentally planning what I would write the next day. And then I drifted into a version of Redcliffe that was shrouded in mystery and confusion.

The craziest thing to happen was that in my dream I was kissing Danny Mason. Those of you who have read my debut novel Love Hurts (ARedcliffe Novel) will know that Jessica is actually dating his identical twin brother, Jack Mason, the vampire. Anyway, in my dream I was Jessica, and I was kissing Danny Mason. When I drew away from him, he looked very different to what I imagined as the author.

To my mind, the Mason brothers are tall and ruggedly handsome. They have dark hair that is short but long enough to be wavy and a little unkempt. They are both clean-shaven, and they have piercing blue eyes, which change colour to suit their non-human moods. Jack and Danny Mason have tanned skin and muscular bodies, and if I were to compare them to a real-life actor, I would probably choose Aidan Turner, who played ‘Mitchell’ in the BBC3 television series Being Human. The only thing he doesn’t have is blue eyes.

In my dream, when I was Jessica Stone, I looked at Danny Mason to be met with a man who was clean-shaven. He had dark hair, but it was straight and cut in a neat, short style. He also had brown eyes, and that was the strange thing, because the eyes are important to my characters. Another surprise was that this version of Danny Mason looked very young, possibly in his early twenties. My actual characters appear to be in their mid-thirties, although they are in fact much older. As an idea of how he looked, I would say my ‘dream Danny’ was very similar to the actor Damien Molony, who played ‘Hal’ in the latest series of Being Human (yes, this is my favourite show!)

So there we have it. Not only am I obsessively writing my Redcliffe novels and thinking about them all day long. Now I am also dreaming from the perspective of my female protagonist. It was a fun dream, no doubt about that. It confused me, but at the same time it made me smile. I wonder what will happen next time…

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