All writers have different processes for capturing their character’s voice, I’m sure. As an actor, I attempt to attack my protagonist like I do a script. Easy right? But add in several writing projects at a time…how does a writer juggle their own sanity while handling the thoughts, moods, and voices of several different protagonists and antagonists. Can you imagine us walking through a crowded street displaying different personality traits? One moment you’re plotting to take down the Capitol and the next second you stop to a halt to champion people to freedom.
In Outlining Your Novel by K. M. Weiland, the author suggests interviewing your character. Weiland goes further and advises conducting a freehand interview for those tough, clousemouthed characters. For example:
Author: Why are you being so uncooperative?
Character: Why are you asking stupid questions?
Author: They’re not stupid. Why don’t you just relax and let me get to know you. Your resistance just makes me think that you have something to hide. Do you?
Character: If I did, it’s not of your business. That’s why I’m hiding it.
Author: So you do have something to hide!
Anyhooo, as I read the real exchange that the author wrote as an example, I burst out laughing. The exchange sounds crazy! It just made me realize, we writers might either have a touch of insanity (not because we write without getting much pay), or extreme creativity.
Which are you?