Character voices

I’m very much the sort of writer whose characters talk to her. They don’t, alas, have terribly much respect or reverence for the author/character relationship, and even when I do ask them direct questions, they rarely deign to give me useful answers.

One of my favorite such exchanges:

Me: “So, Gayle, which of those guys are you planning to wind up with, anyway?”
Gayle: “I’m not telling you.”
Me: “…”
Gayle: “You’re the author. Figure it out.”

And another, from a while back:

Me: “You can’t be a werewolf. There are no werewolves. This isn’t that sort of book. Besides, a moment ago you were explaining how you didn’t even believe in magic.”
Matthew (shrugs): “But I am.”
Me: “…”
Matthew: “…”
Me: “Well, okay, we’ll give it a try. Just to see if it works, you understand. But I’m not making any promises.”
Matthew remains silent. He’s quieter than Gayle, but he knows well enough that he’s already won.

And this is from just last night:

Me (to myself): “And then there’s a boy from the other town …”
Kimi (not caring that I’m not talking to her): “Oh, yeah, that boy from the other town is hot.”
Me: “But I don’t even know what he looks like yet!”
Kimi (shrugs): “Yeah, well, that’s your loss.”

Though the thing is, even if my characters aren’t given me useful information? At least they’re talking, which means I begin to get a hint of their voices. As for the rest, Gayle is actually right (my characters usually are). I can figure it out later.

Tiernay West, by the way, doesn’t generally bother to engage in dialogue with me. She goes straight for monologue, chattering on, content to let me listen and take notes. It’s all about her, after all, right? 🙂

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