That's where I find myself right now. I've been on a writing roll today, page after page of words just flowing from my brain to my fingertips and over the keyboard. But after almost completing a chapter I've forced myself to stop and think. To wonder if I'm actually portraying this character right.
As I have never cheated before – and for some reason this surprises people when they learn it – I’m not sure what goes on in the mind of the cheater. Do they think of their partner while flirting with someone else? Is there a pause, a moment when they know what they’re doing is wrong, right before they do it? Does it make the experience one of guilt, or is the excitement of being with someone new the only thing that they feel in that moment?
What about during the actual act? Is it all about focusing on the sex, enjoying the caress of the new lover, or do thoughts of their (perhaps) faithful partner waiting at home enter their minds?
What about when it’s over? Are there feelings of guilt? Regret? Is this when their partner enters their lust filled mind, or are they still forgotten about? Do they bask in the glow of what they’ve just done and leave the afterthoughts to rise with the morning sun?
I want my character to be believable in how she feels and thinks, but without actually having the personal knowledge of what it feels like to cheat, I’m questioning myself.
Of course I know people who have cheated. I have friends who have done it in the past and never done it again…and others who continue to do it. I could just ask them, but really, none of them are too proud of their failed moments. And it’s not like I can just hand out a questionnaire on the street asking for those who have been unfaithful.
I suppose when writing something in which you have no experience with, you just have to go with your gut and imagine yourself in that situation.
“I’m just thinking of what it would be like to cheat on you. That okay, babe?”
Hmm maybe I should keep this part of my “research” to myself.