Section One: Free Writing. What did you learn about yourself, your life, traumas, inhibitions, and the exhilaration you experienced?
Section Two: Invisible Partner. This is where you shared your secrets, longings, disappointments, and loves. Pay close attention.
Section Three: Labels. Read over each label you gave your feelings and see how they match each section in your 3-ring notebook. With your labels identified, it is time to work with your characters.
Take a good look around your home. Is there a lot of clutter? Would you work better if the ‘stuff’ was gone? How does your protagonist, antagonist, or secondary characters react to their clutter? In your story, characters bring their baggage to the pages and you need to show how they lighten their load(s). There may be one trauma left that keeps the reader hanging on until the last chapter, the last sentence, and on the last page.
What about all your secrets and loves? No, you do not list them, rather pass them on to your characters. When you rethink this section, prod yourself to go back and be an observer. Does any music or favorite song come to mind? Forget the era and remember the music. Let your character(s) feel the same beat, the slow dance, the rhythm, and the sensuous movement of bodies together.
Looking back over your notebook, is there a time when a desire you needed went the other way or the decision you made floundered? Okay, you have some insecurities and you can give these to your characters. Let them make your mistakes over and over and over. Show their anguish and how they turned away from new choices and kept repeating the same ones. Then, you show the characters pulling themselves upward, out of their messes, and your reader will relate to the incidents.
With all you have learned about yourself, you are able to create new thoughts, ideas, stimulate the brain and crawl out of the ruts. You have emotional freedom and can play with your characters.