Hearing Voices

I posted an update a couple days ago on the progress I’m making on my novel manuscript. I now have a major breakthrough. After way too long working on this book, my characters are finally talking to me even when I’m not writing them.

If you’re a fiction writer, you probably know exactly what I mean. If you’re not, you may wonder if this is a symptom of schizophrenia. At some point in writing a novel — usually long before this point — I begin to hear the characters’ voices in my head. I might be lying in bed, driving on the interstate, or taking a shower, and they begin asserting themselves. They speak dialogue I had no intention of writing, exhibit preferences, mannerisms, and personality traits I hadn’t consciously thought to give them, and suggest new directions the story might take.

Last night, as I lay in bed, a few lines of dialogue between Marina and Selo started playing out in my head, and I realized that Selo will try chocolate for the first time and will really, really like it. Rupert has revealed a new line of investigation to pursue in the case of the sabotaged shuttles, including some new resources for gathering information.

I still have a lot of work to do, but I am grateful that my characters have decided to help.

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