Adventures Advice Bio

Voices in my Head by Light Writes

voices

I find a lot of things difficult to explain about my personal writing. Questions such as, where do you find the inspiration? What do you write about? Why is it always  depressing topics? Sometimes I wonder whether my lacking ability to answer has lead most people to believe I can’t write at all. Recently I shared a piece of my writing with two family members – a rare occasion as usually I would be too self conscious – and the response I got was: ‘Wow, that was a bit deep… really professional!’.

On replying ‘thank you’, I received ‘oh, you wrote that?’. The disbelief honestly made my heart drop a little – and perhaps the faith in myself too.

There’s a conversation I remember having with my dad when I was ten years old, so I had known for a few years that I wanted to be an author. My dad, although he may not appear to be on the surface, is actually a profound reader and most importantly, really enjoys it. So I remember him telling me what makes a great book – the author’s knowledge of their own characters.

Anyone who has ever written a story, whether it be for a high school assignment or a published print, will know that it is impossible – not to mention very boring – to include every little detail about a character. But that’s not to say the detail isn’t needed to bring a character to life. We’ve all experienced a moment when we learn something new about someone, that changes our perception of them. Even if we don’t know something about someone, it does not change the fact that their own experiences, personalities and secrets – or ‘details’ as I have been referring to them – are influencing their actions and directions. People act through their own intentions rather than our perceptions in reality and so should characters in a story.

Now I come to the voices in my head. The way I create my characters is simple: I have conversations with them. Before anyone begins to think it’s a crazy idea I would just like to remind you, that as you are reading this my voice is in your head. And you are learning something about me now, because you are openly listening to that voice in your head.

So, when my little voice suddenly conjures, ‘Hey, what if?’ I give the time to listen to it. Then I’m listening to a story that belongs to a character just being born. To elaborate I must ask questions:

“Well, why would that happen to you?”

Because this happened when I was a child.

“Why would you be scared people would think that about you?”

Because I look a certain way.

Notice these questions are all personally directed to the character. It takes time but eventually I know this person so well I can take their name and walk down the street in their shoes. Of course the choice for me to write their story or scrap it is still down to whether I fall in love, but this is so much easier than trying to wedge them into a premade plan.

I’ve found this technique has helped me generate a lot more creativity and depth for my plots. While still finding my feet in the blogging and writing worlds I’m comforted in having accomplished my level of imagination and empathy. Next I hope to become as personal and open with my readers, as my characters are with me.

Check out other great articles from Light Writes

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10 comments

  1. I’m hesitant to share anything with my extended family because of similar reactions to my poetry. I had hoped that my family would be my best support network unfortunately that is not the case. I’m blessed my husband loves my writing and shares it frequently. My children and siblings not so much. The usual comment is you wrote that?
    I agree with your father’s advice about knowing your characters inside and out because they come alive on the page for the reader when the author’s brings them alive. My poems come alive with those voices in my head, the best tools ever when it comes to writing.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us about your method of inspiration.

    1. I’m sorry you’re family aren’t as keen as your husband! Still that little support is important and if writing makes you happy, that’s important too. I’ve always found my best pieces have come from writing for myself rather than by trying to impress others.

      As for the voices, I’m very happy to know other people hear them too! A while ago I decided to think of prayer as the little voices in your head that demand an answer – if only you can hear, only you can answer.

      Keep writing ~ one word at a time 💖

  2. I love how you describe the character/author relationship. Keep on writing, life is short and you obviously have a flair for it! Not everyone will champion you, but that’s often got a lot more to do with them than you X

    I had been hiding from the whole writing process but I’m now embracing it, and realising I have little control of what comes out, sometimes. My subconscious knows how to write better than I do. The stronger characters get exasperated with me and take over when I do longer pieces. I’m easing back in with poetry 😉

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