Sometimes authors mention seeing the scenes they write about, as if they are watching a movie. Do you see this way while writing your stories?
Yes, but it's a little different when reading the final product.
Looking back at writing Misunderstood, I realized I tended to write initial scenes from the first person point of view, as if I were the character writing about the world as he or she saw it or experienced it. Although writing only in first person point of view is good practice for understanding the character, it can be terribly frustrating when combining all the first person views into a story that becomes the final product as told from the narrator's perspective.
I do “see” the scene as I write it most of the time, sometimes even before I write it, but there are moments when writing becomes almost trance-like. Everything disappears but myself and the tools I use to write with. Time passes and I have no awareness of it. It is as though I am creating the story and watching the movie in my head all at the same time, as if living it. I can’t imagine I am the only one who experiences this state. As good as reading a well written story can be, there is nothing like living it as it is being written.
How did you come up with the name of the protagonist?
Initially, his name was not Misunderstood, nor was this name the title of the book. When I first began to envision the story, it all centered around the title Wayward Saint and a character with a fairly common name. The protagonist was going to be a wayward character. His intentions were always good, but he tended to sway from the straight and narrow, arriving at a good place in the end after going a round about way of getting there.
Though the initial name was carried into the final version of the story (revealed later in the book), the name Misunderstood seemed more appropriate. It stood out. The name Misunderstood embodied everything I wanted in the protagonist. Prior to publication, some questioned using a nickname as a central name, but even during this reread I remain confident in its use.