Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Do you listen or talk to your characters?

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 lives.

Watch for the rest of the interview sometime in early November.

Happy writing,