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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Spotlight: Silver James

Character or Plot

The Only (my daughter) had friends over to play when she was much younger. I was ensconced in my office muttering darkly at the computer while occasionally chastising a character who wasn't cooperating. I had a point in my plot I had to reach and the character just wouldn't go there. I overheard one of the children ask The Only, “Who is your mom talking to? There's nobody there...” I didn't realize I was ranting that loudly so I shut up and listened to The Only's reply.

“Huh? Oh, those are the people who live in her head. She argues with them all the time,” The Only answered helpfully. When her friends gasped, and most likely edged toward the door, she added. “Mom's a writer. She talks to imaginary people. Or the dogs. Take your pick.” While I'm happy my daughter understood me so well, I am sad to report those particular friends never came back for a play date.

Yes, those voices in my head seem quite real at times. While I'm working on a book, the characters live and breathe, taking on their own personalities with their own quirks and traits. When I don't listen to them and try to force them to follow the plot I think I've devised, they often kick up a rebellion. Should I admit the characters are usually right? Well...sometimes they are. Rebecca, the heroine in FAERIE FATE, insisted on discussing the voices she heard in her head. A case of imagination mirroring reality? Not really. In her instance, those voices belonged to two fae hoping to guide her through her story. Once I started listening to Becca, I knew she was on to something. Of course, the fact those two fae wormed their way into my head for their squabbles didn't help matters, though it was a bit easier to write the book.

Do you think writers are crazy because we hear those voices in our heads? Or because we talk back to them?

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1 comment:

Paula R said...

Hey Silver, I don't think writers are crazy at all. I too have voices in my head, I just haven't allowed them to steer me yet. I am coming to appreciate their presence even more now though...LOL!!!

I talk to myself all the time. My students think I am a little off my rocker, but sometimes that is the best way to resolve something, for writing or real life.

Peace and love,
Paula R.