Ever have conversations with your characters?

I was reading some of my “free writes” (exercises I do before I start writing writing) and discovered I have a lot of conversations on the page with my characters. It might sound a little odd, but I realize how helpful it is. I ask them questions, they answer back. I poke fun of them, they nail me back. It’s goofy but fun.

Like this one back in December 2010:

R: Hi Luke. How are you?

L: I’m good. I’m tired, what with all you’ve been putting me through. It’s cool though. I don’t know quite how you’re going to turn your second book into your first. I kind of overheard your thinking (I know, that’s odd); are you going to do away with Mark? How the heck am I going to enter this book? Keep the beginning? About being a keeper? Or don’t even have that as a “realization”? Maybe I could already know about it. Know about being a keeper. I could give backstory on how I came to know it. Would that work for the first book? Maybe. That would be different. That…man, that’s difficult. I didn’t even think about that part. Dang. Sucks for you. You have to write it. I just have to live it.

R: Hey.

L: Sorry. That’s the deal. You write it. You figure it out. I just go where you want me to go.

R: Not always. Sometimes you go where you want to go. You can be bossy sometimes.

L: Well. I’m the protagonist. It’s all about me, right?

R: I suppose. All I know is finishing this thing by June is going to be hard. But at leaset it’s a project and a goal. I like those.

L: Yeah, I know you do. You’re kind of obsessed with them.

R: It’s what got me to finish my first book! So there. It works.

L: True.

R: I really miss writing though.

L: You are writing.

R: No, I mean writing sentences that are pretty. I’m just in the rough stages. And really rough. Next, when I actually start dialogue and stuff, that’ll be rough too.

L: You’d still call your finished book rough.

R: Well–

L: Don’t lie.

R: I don’t. And you’re right. It’s true. It’s always rough. But, you know what I mean.

L: I know. I’m just giving you a hard time.

R: Anyway. I should make a new goal in 2011. I think I need that routine again. It helps. Also, I think I should look for a few more places where I can submit my book to today. Though, I would like to talk with you later.

L: That’s fine. I can take a break. I can go switchboarding or something with Wood until you get back. How about 30 mins?

R: Sure.

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3 thoughts on “Ever have conversations with your characters?

  1. This is great! YES, I talk with my characters – usually along the lines of, “Give me a clue, will you, show me what you can do!”

    Often, when learning about new characters, I’ll throw them together just to see how they might respond to each other. I can get some real surprises out of that, such as I might be after dialogue, but instead one character just gets up and walks out – wants nothing to do with the other character – but that pegs it. That tells me exactly the sort of relationship that will work best for them.

    I think the most important thing I have learnt is to listen to my characters. Sounds like you invite them right out of the book! Brilliant!

    Cheers! :)

    • I love this: “but instead one character just gets up and walks out – wants nothing to do with the other character – but that pegs it. That tells me exactly the sort of relationship that will work best for them.”

      So true!

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