Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

If I could talk to my characters

Now and then I like to reblog some of my older posts, and this one seems apt, since I’m releasing a new book next week. Where do your characters come from, and do they “speak” to you as you write? Or are you more like me, hammering them out of found material?
I also remember what Tom Robbins said once about where his characters came from. He said, “They’re the ones who showed up for the audition.”


Hans Christian Andersen being briefed by the ugly duckling Hans Christian Andersen being briefed by the ugly duckling

Recently in another blog I like to frequent, the writer described an incident in which a character she has created impelled her to do something risky. He spoke to her, she heard his voice, and knew he was trying to tell her his story. She also did what he demanded of her.

Frankly, I’m jealous.

I’ve been writing fiction for almost as long as I’ve been shaving, and never has a character spoken to me like that, never mind goaded me into doing something scary. I’m not much the type to do scary things anyway, so that could be a factor here. My characters are probably chin-wagging in some bar, going, “Don’t bother telling him to skydive. You know he’s a chickenshit.”

For whatever reason, I’m not one of those writers who effectively “channels” characters from the  ether. The details that…

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2 comments on “If I could talk to my characters

  1. Phillip McCollum
    September 19, 2014

    Yeah, there’s probably at least a smidgen of “batshit crazy” in all of us creative types. Though I don’t think our characters really talk to us, I think some of us really “hear” them talking to us. I know I’m happy whenever that happens to me. Makes my job easier!

  2. John W. Howell
    September 19, 2014

    You need to drink more. Maybe your characters would lighten up and come talk to you.

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This entry was posted on September 19, 2014 by in Publishing.
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