Finding Ways to Hear Your Hero/Heroine

So I must admit, I hear voices. Fictional ones anyway.

Hearing a character talk to you when you’re a writer is a good thing. It just means your characters have life to them.

Where will you be when your characters start talking to you? Will you even realize they’re speaking to you?

Sometimes we may think our characters have stopped taking to us, but the problem may be that we’re not listening. If you know there are certain activities or a time of the day when you’re more apt to hear your characters, set aside the time to listen.

For me, quiet moments alone are key. Your characters can speak to you from anywhere and use any source. They can even use real people to speak to you.

My character Cecile in my book in progress began talking to me, after weeks of silence, when I was doing an ordinary household chore.

Last week I was getting some laundry off the clothesline when I heard a conversation between my heroine and hero. I quickly ran into the house and grabbed my handy notebook that never leaves my purse. I scribbled down the conversation I heard between the two of them, then flipped the page and made the notes for this blog post. (If you don’t have a way to take notes on the fly, get one, pronto, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost an idea for a blog post or a scene in a book because I didn’t have a notebook handy when inspiration struck.)

Below is a list of activities that have proven, time and again, to help me with hearing my characters voices:

  1. Walking
  2. People watching
  3. Being still
  4. Writing in my journal

I’d love to know the when, where and how your characters speak to you. If you’d be willing to share with me, leave a comment in the section below. 🙂

3 thoughts on “Finding Ways to Hear Your Hero/Heroine

  1. People watching/listening is a great way to hear your characters. I love the scene in Young Adult when Charlize Theron is shopping and she’s listening to two young women talk and one of the girls says she and her guy have “text chemistry”. Charlize goes home to her laptop and writes that her characters have “textual chemistry.”
    I find that if I get stuck, it’s good to take a break and go to a coffee shop or even grocery shopping and keep your ears open.

  2. My husband is always embarrassed by my blatant eavesdropping. I say it’s a good thing because not only do I get a feel for the way others speak but I get some story ideas as well.

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