Friday, 16 January 2015

When Characters Talk to You...

I've had a busy week so my Thursday post is being written today instead.

And just because other essential appointments get in the way, it doesn't mean I'm not thinking about writing, just that the writing pot is being stirred in the background.

On Monday I had to make a timeline (for the back story) before I could progress with the next scene. I knew roughly when past events occurred, but there were a couple that I needed confirmed.

Those details are for me, and the reader will not need to know the majority of that history...

A character starts talking...
But another aspect on both writing and non-writing time is when characters decide to talk to you; they give you an important snippet of information that makes sense of something else, or they start an exchange of dialogue- or complain about another character.

Now at home going round muttering wildly to yourself, even in front of family members, is viewed with a shake of the head and remarks of ,'there's no point saying anything to her'- at least not until whatever it is, is written somewhere!

Do the muttering out in public and people look at you a bit strangely.

A couple of writer friends revealed the times their characters start talking to them. Ironing is popular, as is cooking. It's a bit inconvenient too if you're in the shower or washing your hair when they start- my historical characters don't understand that the bathroom is not the place to start talking to me.

Today, two of my contemporary characters began holding a conversation- giving me the answer to one of my approaching plot niggles- when I was meant to be thinking food shopping.

I'm sure I had a crazed look on my face as I looked around the busy location for somewhere to stop and write. Seeing a vacant bench I almost sprinted toward it, hoping that no one would suddenly decide to go and sit there before I reached it- that usually happens to me.

Pen and notebook retrieved from my bag I started jotting, and as I was actually writing at an angle-because I was holding onto bags at the same time as the notebook- I hope I can still read it! :D

Satisfied I had the basics of the conversation my two characters quietened down and wandered off to their respective destinations, allowing me to buy food without further distractions.

That conversation will be written up onto the computer next week, when I get onto chapter 10.

I'm just glad that my other lurking characters are polite and wait until it's their story before talking to me...

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /


  1. I think it's wonderful that inspiration struck you like that - and great you had a chance to write it down. My characters have a habit of talking in the middle of the night when I'm too tired to sit up and write it down - then in the morning they go all sulky silent on me xx

  2. I'm glad my characters don't do that to me, Teresa. :D

    At the moment I think my brain is having a shift around of possibilities, as ideas that have been on the back-burner for a long time have suddenly started coming together suggesting possible routes.

  3. I think it's great when that happens. My husband does get a bit worried at times, especially when I start to rearrange furniture in order to set up a scene and then start rolling around to see how my character would fall. Would he/she actually break an arm here? etc.etc.. It does make life fun :) Have a great week, Carol and keep the inspiration flowing.

    1. Thanks, Nicola. :)

      I don't rearrange the furniture, but I will sometimes act out certain movements to see if the character could have done something, or looked in a certain way from a set position- no point having my character see something through a brick wall... :D

  4. My characters don't talk to me much. Mostly they just roll their eyes at my typos and giggle a lot.

    1. Your characters are obviously enjoying themselves while you work, Patsy. :)

  5. I only wish my characters were as helpful to me - they're rather quiet at the moment.

    1. Wendy, I always feel that characters who are quiet are okay with what you're doing with them, and it's only when they think you're missing something or aren't getting on with their story, that they talk.

      Keep going. :-)

  6. Love the way your characters are talking to you! I used to find it happened when ironing but I now watch a film or programme - maybe I'm silencing the voices too much!

  7. I'm sure your characters are there talking, Rosemary, it's just they can't compete with the visual media to get your attention.

    Ironing does seem to be a communication time. :-)


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