Monday, 11 June 2012

And then the Character Spoke

So last night I was working on chapter 8 of the second Sgt. Reid novel, tentatively called Forever Screaming, and something odd yet wonderful happened.  With fingers delicately hovering above the keyboard keys, elbows resting on the edge of the table (my typing teacher would smack me for that), and an oversized mug of tea between my arms on the table I began to type the paragraph where the killer thinks inside his head about what he knew of the crime police were investigating…you see my novels let you see what is in the killers mind as well as what is going on inside the mind of Sgt. Reid of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police…and he told me that there were other victims.

In planning of the novel and writing I thought the very first victim in the novel was his first kill.  I was trying to think of why he hadn’t done this before.  What made him do it this time?  And it wasn’t until the moment I typed the words, “If the police looked further they would have found more,” that I realized it was the only way.  For about 2 weeks I have been staring at the same paragraph and it was not until last night when the killer said had me type those words that I was able to finish the small chapter.

This isn’t the first time a character has spoken and told me what direction to take them, but this one surprised me.  Does this make me crazy?  These characters live in my head.  I have to get myself into the characters minds in order to write how they react, what they do, what they wear, and so on that it makes sense that they would also talk to me.  They often tell me when I am taking them in the wrong direction.  The characters in the story know what they would do better than what I actually do.

I wonder if other writers go through the same thing?  Do their characters talk to them?  Do their characters suddenly go, “Hey, I wouldn’t do that Sunshine.  Try again,”?

Well, I guess I will get back to the voices


  1. My characters absolutely talk to me! They also introduce themselves to me, when I had no clue they were part of my story. I think its only natural.

  2. Yep, mine do. All the time, they have to be real and you have to let they speak. Like Kelly's natural. I find it thrilling when the speak out of turn....they shouldn't be speaking at all should they? But they do. Love you're blog...I am facing a lot of the same troubles...glad to know someone else is too.