I have no set plan when I begin looking for ideas for a story. For ‘Crash’ I began from character. As a drama teacher and actress I’ve always been interested in bringing characters to life on stage – how they look, move, think and speak, along with the past that has shaped them.
I thought I’d try to do the same with writing - develop several believable characters, each with their own problems and put them in a situation capable of bringing them together in some way – hence the crash.
Once I knew my characters well I set about deciding which would work best together. Tess and Daisy seemed an obvious pairing, but I didn’t want my work to be full of doom and gloom and so I allowed Mary and Frank to become my comedy duo. They were an unlikely combination, always bouncing off each other, yet with a serious story to tell – one of loneliness. In fact loneliness and loss gradually became a link throughout my story.
I now find writing even more fulfilling than acting as I read everything aloud in order to ‘hear’ my character’s voices. For the fight scene between Lucinda and her father Brendon I even found myself lying on my dining room floor to see how they would position themselves!
My characters soon became real, living people - and as I watched the two birds fly high into the sky on the last page I will admit to shedding a small tear.