(No disrespect to anyone—crazy, insane, loony, committed, batty, bizarre, eccentric, daft, demented, deranged, or otherwise—is intended by this post.)
When is a crazy person not a crazy person? When they’re a writer.
- Writers can have hundreds of imaginary friends. No, I’m not crazy, I’m just talking to my characters.
- Writers can allow their characters to possess them, like multiple personality disorder. I’m just getting into my character’s head so I know what they’re thinking.
- Writers can have a god-complex, thinking that they control the universe. I do control the universe…in my stories.
We get to do all that—without being committed. (Why do I have a jingle playing in my head? *Wouldn’t you like to be a writer too?*)
In fact, the more in-tune they are with their imaginary-friends-slash-characters, the better job writers do at making the world of their story believable for the reader. It’s true. And I don’t think that’s just wishful thinking on my part. After all, how can a writer make a reader believe in a character, setting, or situation, if they don’t believe it themselves?
If I can’t figure out where to take a scene, it’s because I’m not listening to my characters. Just as much as actors have “method acting”, becoming the character they’re playing, writers do the same thing. And when I listen to my characters, I discover things about the story that I’d never think of on my own. For one, they’re much funnier than I am. And sarcastic. And noble. And generous.
Don’t those sound like the kind of people you’d like to have as friends? So forgive me if I sound like a crazy person when I talk about how I know that so-and-so would never do such a thing because they told me. When I listen to those voices in my head, I’m just trying to be a better writer.
Visit Kristen Lamb’s blog for more Top 10 Reasons to Become a Writer, as she gave me the idea for this post. Thanks, Kristen!
Have you ever read a book and felt like the characters were your friends? Which book? What characters?