However, I didn't always do this. I mean... I always had voices in my head. Characters always kept me up at night, telling me their stories when I really wanted to be sleeping. They've always been their own entities.
But I wasn't always confident enough to admit it.
It was one of my very dear writing friends, Andrea Tonnies, who first "gave me permission" to admit to this craziness. All she did was talk about the relationship she had with her characters. She talked about arguments she would have with them and things they would do without her permission. One day, one of her characters went to visit one of our other friends. Her characters are very real, not only to her but to anyone who reads her writing.
Hearing Andrea talk like this gave me the confidence to admit to it, too. And my relationship with my characters has only improved! It's easier to get them to tell me their stories when I actually talk to them.
And I'm admitting to this here, today, in the hopes of doing for you what Andrea did for me. Giving you permission to embrace the crazy. Maybe we do belong in some sort of a home -- but it would be a happy home, and there would be lots of wonderful charries in it. And the same people who call us crazy are the people who enjoy our stories and love our amazing character development.
On the other side of this, don't feel bad if your characters don't talk to you. I don't think everyone has this relationship with their characters, and that's ok. They still write beautiful books. These people tend to be more plot-driven writers, and come up with amazing story lines while I'm pretty much writing the same story over and over with different characters.
If your characters are completely silent, or they only talk to each other, or they have full-fledged conversations with you, forcing you to scream at them in public to leave you alone, it's ok. We're all writers and this craziness that we have is what makes us the artists that we are. Embrace it. Love it. Write great stuff from it.
And if you see my character Maurelle anywhere, would you tell her to get her snarky face over here? I need to write another chapter!