I had just prepared their dinner after a long day at work and we were all sitting at the kitchen table, when my daughter spoke up. “Why are you staring at my food, mommy? Do you want some?” I was quite unaware of looking at her food, as I was still at work, deep in a conversation.
In his article, Groopman admits to often having interior discussions with himself, though his wife does not. He further claims that for some, “it’s an essential part of the way we think.”
British psychologist and fiction writer, Charles Fernyhough, has studied the phenomena of inner conversations and claims that much of the day can be spent in self-talk, and this is especially true with writers. At the 2014 Edinbourgh International Book Festival, 91 writers responded to a questionnaire Fernyhough distributed, and 70% acknowledged that their characters speak to them and at times, they demand changes in the story.
A few months ago, authors Beem Week and John Howell discussed character development on Aspire to Inspire, a BlogTalkRadio program of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB. Their stories fascinated me, because their characters directed the writing of their books.
Have you had this experience?
I'm a non-fiction writer, but I've written a few fictional short stories. In both arenas, I carry on conversations. In the first, I listen to real people who occupy my imaginary space; in the latter, I'm a tag along to characters I both create and accompany. It's an amazing process, and if you are interested, I invite you to listen to the archived Aspire to Inspire episode.