I fell off the coffee drinking wagon this week. After almost four years of denying myself the substance, a sip then more a cup tasted so good I could not bring myself to stop. It has been a gradual slide to this demise over the last few months, first through the the purest cold form of the substance (Coke), then greater quantities of the leaf version (tea) and finally the Cafe capitulation for the warm and soothing beverage. The tiredness during the day caused by physical pain disrupted sleep at night probably didn't help and so I find myself no longer caffeine free.
Perhaps not a bad thing timing wise as my creative juices started flowing again with a vengeance earlier this week and I am now well into the throes of caffeine substance abuse as I write feverishly.
It all started with my mentioning to a good friend that I had seen a memorable acting performance from Thomas Dekker (of Terminator Sarah Connor Chronicles note) in a horror film I watched on DVD the weekend before during yet another bout of writer's block procrastination. To which she responded almost immediately, he is Gabriel.
Gabriel is a key character in the second novel (aka the second part of the trilogy) and it is his back story that forms the basis of the prequel to that novel (aka the first part of the trilogy) and, ultimately, it is his journey across all three novels that that helps to form the over arching story. So pretty important really.
When I write characters, one part of my creative process is to imagine which actors would play them if a movie were to be made of the book. It helps me to visualise the characters as the plot develops. Like a movie playing in my head. It also means that I have 'dreams' about the characters - effectively my sub-conscious mind moves the plot along for me. I go to bed thinking about the story and wake up with fresh ideas for scenes to write. Marvelous stuff.
As I was writing the second novel, I had Jack Davenport (of This Life note) in my mind for Gabriel in terms of a physical look but this was not quite working for me given Gabriel is a young adult for much of the story and one that has a angelic boyish yet brooding outsider hint of darkness demeanour. Jack is lovely though has had far more success playing mainstream roles. Wrong age aside, it was just too difficult to imagine Jack as Gabriel. In contrast, Thomas Dekker is Gabriel. While Tom may have a thousand characters he could (and I expect will given the fellow can act!) play over the course of his career, he captures the essence of 'outsider' roles perfectly.
I said just one word in response to my friend's observation. Yes!
I have my Gabriel.
Since that eureka moment, I have developed more of the plot lines, ideas for possible book covers and figured out the perfect tagline for the trilogy.
And, if the books are ever made into movies, hopefully it will be soon enough that my Gabriel can be played by the actor who helped to inspire me.