So, how do your characters feel?
I've thought long and hard about how my characters would react in certain situations. How they would pull through a difficult time? How they would feel when happy, sad, excited, etc... Like how they would feel deep down inside of them, going beyond the surface one word adjective.
The thing is, as a writer, I have to show these things, not just tell them. How do I show? Well, I have drawn on personal experiences. I have stood in front of a mirror to figure out exactly how my characters face would look like during a scene. I have made myself feel giddy, melancholy, scared, elated. Yes, I may be considered a masochist by forcing myself to feel terrified just to write a scene. But it is worth it when I can lean back, sigh, and realize how awesome a scene turned out.
More often than not, I think of times in my life where I've felt exactly how my character is feeling. I may even write a scene as I experienced it.
For example: Whenever one of my old boyfriends (oh, how I adored him), would touch me, I felt electricity flood through my body. It was like hot, little prickles of pure joy spreading from my skin down into my nerves, muscles, bones until the feeling burrowed itself into my soul. Yes, I have used that sensation a few times in my books. Suffice it to say, the feeling was to die for. Sigh!
Or for instance, I've got some serious back and neck pain right now. I could draw from that to show one of my characters feeling bodily pain. PS: I'm really not looking for sympathy by having said that. However, my poor neck and back inspired this blog post, so yippee.
Anyway, what I'm getting at is this: Draw on your own life experiences to show how your characters feel. Perhaps, you can ask other people how they'd feel in a given situation. The options are there. It's just a matter of putting those feelings or emotions on paper (or laptop, if you're me).
How do you express how your character is feeling? Do you draw on your own life experiences? Do you ask others how they would feel? Do you close your eyes and take in the essence of the scene until the words flow through your fingertips? (Yes, I have done that countless times--pure magic, I say)