Unless you’re a writer those questions probably mean little to you…except that last one, if you’re not a writer and you listen to the voices please don’t tell me!
I tend to be a cross between the two, I have a lovely plot board covered with colored sticky notes with POVs and plot points for chapters, but I do leave myself plenty of room for the magic to happen organically.
I need to let the story unfold as I write, I need to be entertained along the way…because if I’m not enjoying the story as I’m writing, why would anyone enjoy reading it?
Hence the voices in my head. I can hear my characters directing me, arguing with me if I go off track, or just babbling little bits and pieces about themselves that often help me push through a block.
I know lots of writers who interview their characters extensively before they even start writing, they know the hero and heroine inside out…for me this just gives me the hives. If I know all their secrets and what makes them tick before I’ve written a word, why do I care to write their story…I already KNOW them. Boring for me!
I’ve been known to sit and stare into space, listening to the hero rant. I’ve woken up from a sound sleep because the heroine has revealed a side of herself that I needed to write down. But my favorite thing to do is to ask them why they did something! There is nothing more satisfying than humming along and you look at your words only to scratch your head wondering where that particular tidbit came from…the best way to find out? Ask!
What an awesome way to unblock a plot point or take a scene to a new level.
As writers there are a ton of tools available to us, but I don’t think there is anything more organic than hearing the voices, letting them guide you to write their story and letting the words flow through your fingers to the keys.
So, tell me…do you listen to the voices in your head?