Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Do Your Characters Talk to You?

The news report made quite a splash. Researchers at Durham University in the U.K. teamed up with The Guardiannewspaper and the Edinburgh Book Festival to do a study of authors. And the study reported that two-thirds of authors hear their characters speak while they’re writing. 

My first thought was, this is news?

The study was more of a survey. Some 181 authors who participated in the Edinburgh Book Festival in 2014 and 2018 were asked an array of questions. The biggest surprise, at least to the researchers, was that 63 percent of the authors hear their characters speak, and 61 percent say their characters can act independently. 

I’ve been listening to my characters speak since I’ve been writing. I’ve experienced characters getting a mind of their own and doing both the expected and the unexpected. Other writers I’ve talked with say they’ve experienced the same thing. Of course, characters speak. Of course, authors hear them speak. Of course, characters get themselves totally out of character and screw things up, at least temporarily. This is part of what makes them real to the author and the reader.

To continue reading, please see my post today at the ACFW blog.

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