When You Let Your Characters Talk To You #writers #writerslife


I have recently discovered something magical. Brace yourselves readers.

I am going to be honest with you. For most of last year (and the year before) I nodded my head and agreed with you all when you spoke about your characters talking to you during the writing process. I was like ‘yes of course mine do that too!  (cue blonde writer’s ‘telling a little white lie’ face).

Then one day, not so long ago, I was busy writing and something magical happened. I let my characters speak to me. They actually started to talk – gasp! Whilst they chatted away I wrote down whatever they said or did.

It was like I had climbed into the passenger seat and given them the controls. It really was a wonderful experience and quite powerful too.

After I found myself in a state of, what can only be described as, literary hysteria – I raced around the house shouting ‘the people in my head actually spoke to me!!!’ (Cue some odd looks from loved ones and a couple of phone calls to a medical helpline)

The secret was letting go. I allowed myself to relax and stopped trying to control everything on the page. This in turn led to my characters speaking to me.

Letting my characters speak to me whilst I wrote benefited me in a number of ways:

  • Every character started to have a distinctive voice in my head and this followed through onto the page. Until this turning point all my characters had one dull voice.
  • I was able to pick up on my characters individual mannerisims and behaviours, something which I have not done before.
  • I connected with my characters on a deeper level.
  • I became emotionally attached to my characters.
  • I allowed them to work their way out of problems. This is interesting as these fictional folk can do this if you let them.

I can now relate to Shirley Knight’s quote:

I just let the character speak to me and things appear – Shirley Knight

I can see the downsides of doing this:

  • Giving my characters too much control.
  • Finding it difficult to switch back to normal life once I have finished writing. Some of my characters think it’s ok to carry on talking once I have stopped writing – in particular my new handsome male vampire ones – sigh!
  • Loved ones give you some weird looks once you start on this road.

I will keep an eye on these whilst I enjoy my newfound skill.

Have your characters talked to you?

If so what has been your experience?

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/22144986@N00/4164756091″>True phone</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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Lucy Mitchell lives in South Wales with her husband, her two teenage daughters, a giant labrador and a gang of unruly cats. Lucy is the author of the award winning blog, BlondeWriteMore and was a Featured Romance Author on Wattpad. When she’s not working or writing, Lucy can be found listening to audiobooks in a muddy field with her dog or sat outside her local pub in the sunshine enjoying a glass of wine. Her debut novel Instructions Falling In Love Again is OUT now and already pulling in some fabulous reviews ❤️

123 thoughts on “When You Let Your Characters Talk To You #writers #writerslife

  1. While writing the draft of Book 2 of my Collar Series 2 of the characters who were not featured too often in Book 1 started to have more to say in Book 2 and half way through this draft they made it quite clear that although they are not the main characters, they have their own story to tell. Hence Book 3 is now on hold till I’ve completed their story in a companion Novella.

    And yes my chatacters have made me cry while writing their sad scenes. Thank heavens no one is around when tears roll down my cheeks while I am writing.

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