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,
BmP