Now, most people think that having voices in your head is something you might want to have a professional check out. I mean, you’ve got these people talking to you and they’re sharing intimate details about their lives. Geez – I can understand overhearing details like that on a subway in New York City, but in your car on your way to work?
Most of my author readers out there are probably nodding their heads about now. They’ve heard them – they know. These same authors also say they write because they have to.
Yeah – to clear the voices outta your head!
I don’t know – for me it just seemed freaky to be having characters talk to me – in my head – at any time of the day or night. Even though I’ve always wanted to write, I’ve never had those requisite voices in my head. Sometimes I’d have a wild thought and I’d follow it along its meandering path until I caught it, but that wasn’t characters talking to me, was it? Besides, did you really need them to succeed? Couldn’t I just find out information about my characters the old fashioned way – by putting my brain in thumbscrews and squeezing the information out?
I decided that maybe I was that different author that wouldn’t have voices in her head.
But then one rather Wickedly Good day it happened to me. I was in the car on my way to work and Dom, my hero in Fire Season started to talk to me. He was at the scene of a fire, and he was telling me what was going on. I could actually hear the man’s voice – not so much with my ears, but with my imagination – my creative side!
It was a good thing traffic was backed up!
You see, I’d been struggling a bit with how my hero should sound. I wanted it to be authentic without being too technical. I’d even talked the previous night with my brother, who is an active duty Lieutenant at a metro area Fire Protection District, about how my hero should sound. He gave me some ideas, and I guess they percolated pretty well through the night! In any case – out they came – in Dom’s voice.
He just kept talking, and talking, and talking. He talked about how much he loved his job – and how it was being on the scene of a fire. He told me how he worked with his crew to outsmart the flames, and that the safety of those under his command was his first priority. Then he talked about Alexandra, the hot doctor he wanted to get to know VERY well.
Thankfully – I wasn’t too far from work. As soon as I got there, I put it in park and pulled out the trusty notebook that I carry with me at all times and started to scribble. Five pages later I put the pen and paper away. It has finally happened. My character talked to me. I learned right there that when your characters start to talk – you need to stop, listen and type – or write – as fast as you can!
Speaking of characters talking, ‘Bas, the hero in my latest work in progress (wip) is waiting patiently for me to finish my blog so he and I can talk. He’s new to the project, so I’m as yet unfamiliar with his voice and I have a lot to learn about him.
He knows I’m telling you all about him now, and his eyes are narrowing a bit. Ah, he just crossed his arms over his chest, highlighting his impressive pecs. I’m sure glad his shirt is buttoned…this time. I need to pay him some attention now. Since he and I will be spending much time together very soon, he’s definitely worth taking a *few* minutes getting to know, don’t you think?
A rolling stone gathers no moss.
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I hear my character’s as well. Without them, I’d have no hopes of ever writing a story. I rely on them to guide my pen as I direct them through their journey.
That’s a great way of putting it, LaTessa! In the end, the author is supposed to have control, right? : )