I‘ve talked about how I am a method writer. A story starts to feel real to me when the characters start to feel real, when I can get into their heads and their skins, when they become familiar, like friends, and I can sit down and know exactly how they will behave.
Not long ago, I mentioned how the main character in my novel-in-progress is growing a beard to help disguise himself from reporters who are after him for comments about something important. He grows this beard over a period of time, while making a monthly road trip from San Antonio, Texas, to Fairbanks, Alaska. I said that in an effort to help me get into this characters head, I was going to grow a beard along with him.
I’ve never successfully grown a beard before. And so far, in the race between me and my main character to see who can grow a decent beard first, my main characters is winning.
Still, this is by far the best I’ve ever done. I’ve overcome the itchy part, and have tried to convince the Little Miss (who hates beards) that I am doing this for a reason, and it isn’t permanent. I’m told that after about a month, it will really start to fill in. that means I’ve got to get to at least November 19. By then, my main character will be utterly unrecognizable.