If you could ever get inside the head of an author, you might discover their thought processes are a little…different. I’ve heard many say that their characters actually talk to them and tell them how they want their stories to go or how they’re supposed to go. I used to not understand that, but the more I write, the more I do.
No, I don’t actually have little people in my head telling me what I should write. But the more I give my characters personality, the more real I make them, the more they seem to take the reins of their own story.
For example, in a story I was working on recently, I had two characters meet for the first time. I wrote the scene where they introduced themselves and carried on farther into the book. But the more I wrote, the more I got a nagging feeling in the back of my head. It was like those two characters were talking to me.
We already knew each other, they said.
I realized that these characters had known each other for a long time before the scene where they “first met,” and had in fact dated at one point! So I went back to that introductory scene and completely changed it. They no longer introduced themselves to each other for the first time; now, they had an awkward reunion after years of separation. And it actually helped me figure out how the story needed to move forward!
So if you’ve ever read a book, and you’ve fallen in love with a character or been impressed by how realistically they were written, how it seemed like they were an actual person with feelings and thoughts and a past, it’s probably because at some point, as the author of that book was writing, their character started talking to them. They started telling the author, This is who I am. And the author followed that voice.