As I mentioned last week, I’ve had some fantastic critiquers going through my most recent draft of The King’s Councilor. My favorite part about having someone else looking over my work is that they always notice something that I gloss over.
Ironically, there’s been one specific theme that I’ve noticed over the past few weeks.
Why does Cassie focus on her breathing so much?
Hmmmm. Good question. I honestly don’t know.
I had one person ask if this was like yoga, where she focused on her breathing to become centered. Maybe. But I think it has more to do with me. First off, breathing’s a pretty natural thing that should come to all of us. When babies are born, they’re actually rated on how well they breathe (among other things).
As a nurse, I focus on breathing a lot too. In fact, when someone’s in distress we’re told to remember our ABC’s. Airway, breathing, cardio. Even before we check the pulse, heart, we have to check the patient’s breathing. It’s that important. Whenever I’m assessing, I watch the patients as they breathe. Is it labored? Do they suddenly stop for several seconds? When they breathe, do they sound like they’re underwater?
I even do it to my husband at night when he’s asleep. He snores, and there are nights, when I stop to listen and count his breaths, making sure he doesn’t have sleep apnea.
So for me, it’s natural for someone to pay that close of attention to their own breathing along with everyone else’s. Except she’s not a nurse, and she has no medical training. Would she pay attention to it?
How about the rest of you? Do you ever find yourselves creeping into your characters? Strange idiosyncrasies that maybe shouldn’t be in there?