Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"V" is for Voices in my Head

Before you go thinking I'm a crazy person (I'm not saying I am, I'm not saying I'm not), I wanted to take this opportunity to give you all a little peek into my writing method.

Each author writes differently.  Some write by the seat of their pants and put down whatever comes to mind; others plan out every inch of their stories in outlines so detailed they're practically already the manuscript.  But no matter what you do, you'll have to hear the characters so you can tell their story.
As for me, I hear two versions of the characters.  

One version sits on my desk or shoulder and tells me everything about them, their motivations, etc.  If this version doesn't talk to me or withholds information, I get writer's block.  Also, if I try to make a character act against some core element that they have, even unbeknownst to me, it doesn't work.  

The second version is the one that appears in the actual manuscript and the story.  It's the version that the reading audience gets to hear.

How do you hear your characters?

xoxo Sarah

10 comments:

  1. The voices in your head thing doesn't sound all that crazy to me because I have the same experience.

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    1. That's why I love talking to other authors! They "get it." :-)

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  2. Doesn't sound crazy to me - :) I hear my character's voices too, though yesterday they were screaming as one of them was killed. That could make you a little crazy. It's really important to get their unique voice from your head to the manuscript. Great post Sarah!

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    1. Very true! And it's exciting when they react to something you do in the story. Good luck with your murder!

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  3. Not crazy at all - you're a writer. Mine came to me on a trip to Scotland and Ireland and just seems to speak thru me - not channeled at all. I am fully present.
    Karen

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    1. Excellent! I hear a lot of that, too...they just get channeled through the author.

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  4. Sometimes characters come to me fully formed with a personality and voice of their own, but most often they begin as one trait, idea, or in a role and I have to build them up from there. That means it can take a very long time for their voice to become to clear me, if it ever does LOL


    ~ Rhonda Parrish

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    1. I can imagine that the moment it becomes clear is an exciting one!

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  5. Intersting post, Sarah. I lost most of my hearing about 10 years ago and I hear real voices mutterign away when the room is quiet. According to my audiologist, it's my brain tricking me into thinking I can still hear. This bizarre effect resulted in a full length novel, Voices, due out soon

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    1. What an interesting concept! I wish you the best of luck. That sounds very similar to the phantom pain amputees often feel "in" their missing limb.

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