How alive are your characters for you? Do you have conversations with them? Do they tell you what they want to do in a story, even if it’s not something you had in mind for them?
Do you hear your characters when they talk?
I recently read an article that talked about how many authors in fact do hear their characters speak to them. According to researchers at Durham University who teamed up with the Guardian and the Edinburgh international book festival, sixty-three per cent [of respondents] said they heard their characters speak while writing, with 61% reporting characters were capable of acting independently.”181 authors were interviewed.
This finding was of great interest to me since I hear my characters voices when they talk to me. Some are quiet while others are quite loud. As my readers know, I write sexy retellings of fairy tales. Tita, my Puss In Boots in my novella “Trouble In Thigh High Boots” has a deep, sonorous voice. She purrs. Obviously, she does. She’s a cat shifter. Rapunzel in my novella “Climbing Her Tower” has a higher, wispier voice. She also speaks quicker than Tita. Both of these characters have told me when they were unhappy with the direction of a plot. They also told me what turns them on the most so I could give them the best experiences. These two are very open, honest, and straightforward – qualities I admire.
I asked writers on Facebook their experiences with their characters voices. Everyone’s experience is different, but all have a camaraderie with their characters. Some fight. Some don’t. Some take the plot in a direction the author had not originally considered. Some play the “You should be writing” card. Here are a few responses.
Christiane Knight – “Mine talk to me and occasionally have taken the plot in very different directions than I’d planned.”
Terri Bruce – “LOL – I not only hear them, but it’s kind of like they take me over at times. I’ll be in the shower or driving and realize suddenly that I’m talking OUT LOUD, saying the dialog I’m picturing in my head (the scene starts playing like a little movie in my head but it’s always in first person – I’m the characters (lol all of them) in the scene/seeing the scene from their POV – rather than third person). My husband often catches me doing this (it’s happened in a restaurant while sitting across from him a few times) and he’s like “um, honey, your lips are moving. You’re talking to yourself. What is happening?????” LOLOLOL!”
Phoenix Johnson – “Some of mine are total arseholes lol they try to fight me, can be exhausting!”
Colleen Markley – “My protagonist is sitting on my newly cleaned counter now, swinging her feet against the cabinet. Her heels bang the wood. “You need to stop playing house and get serious,” she tells me. “You can’t finish a novel if you’re not serious. You’re just shy of 90,000 words and you still need to finish act two. Your pacing is off and you need to fix it.” She pauses her feet and stops speaking for a moment as she looks at me. “You’re so close.”
Jenise Aminoff – “My characters all have distinct voices, and some of them ARGUE with me.”
Jacques Gerard – ” Yes, I do hear my character’s voices and would love to be included in your blog. I just finished an erotic short story. It has a lady DJ doing a podcast. Her voice is low and velvety. Her male lover who calls into her show has a deep baritone voice and sounds like Barry White.”
So writers, do your characters talk to you? Boss you around? Plead with you? If so, know you’re not alone.
Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and her two cats. Her LGBTQ paranormal erotic shifter romance novel “Full Moon Fever” is now available for purchase at Amazon and other book distributors. Her collection of erotic fairy tales, “Happily Ever After: Twisted Versions of Your Favorite Fairy Tales”, is also available at Amazon.
Web site: http://elizabethablack.blogspot.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/elizabethblack