I recently completed a Book Goodies author self interview. It won't be published on their website until early November, but it had a question I really liked - the one in the title of this post. Here is my take on it.
I rarely read a book where I do not form a mental
picture of the characters. (As evidence,
I still wonder how Hollywood thought to cast Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. I see someone closer to Dwayne Johnson in my
mind’s eye, but they did not ask me.) I also
believe that this mental picture is even more vivid for characters you
create. I have spent months with mine. I know what they think, how they feel, what
they would say. Additionally, I know
what it is like to write something inconsistent with their personalities. It happens.
When it does, I feel the tension and soon, the words are gone. In a sense, I listen to the persona I
created. I also imagine conversations among
my characters – when Sam stumbles over compliments or Nicole gives him a hard
time. These imaginary conversations are
often complete, with specific phrases and precise reactions, which later become
text. However, to date, I have not
personally joined the discourse. I think
they would listen, but like your children, you have to let them live their own
Watch for the rest of the interview sometime in early November.