This weekend I had a great moment. Drew, who had tried to talk to me while I was finishing up Being Human, started talking again. He had been annoyingly silent. I think he was mad at me for not listening when he wanted to talk and decided to punish me for it. When I opened his document and started typing he got silent again. He didn't like what I had and started refusing to speak. So I opened a blanket document, fiddled with settings and tried again. Drew liked that.
I think the majority of authors - aspiring or established - talk about their characters like real people. We can image sitting with our characters and having conversations. Or maybe interview is better word because usually when that happens we are writing or as soon as the character speaks we grab pen and paper and scribble everything down.
Why are authors so insistent that the characters are speaking to them?
I don't know about others but for me it's because I have had times where I didn't know what I was going to write until after I wrote it. And what I saw shocked me. A great example is when I was writing JJ's story. He and Cage were surrounded by vampires and the leader was intent on making Cage suffer for killing the vampire that turned Cage. The leader was trying to egg Cage on, show what a monster he was and mentioned a baby Cage had killed. Cage explained what happened to JJ and I had to pause.
Where did that come from? I did not know that about Cage! The words hadn't even registered as a sentence until they were typed. It was like Cage reached down, took hold of my fingers and said what he had to say.
Or maybe I'm just crazy. Maybe all authors who insist their characters speak to them are and there just aren't enough rooms in the loony bin to fit us all. I don't really know and that's not going to stop me. I'll still talk about my characters like they are real, still listen to every word they say and let them take control to get the story out. And to my fellow authors, I have to know.
What do you do when your characters commandeer your hands?