For me, it all starts with a voice. Soon others chime in. Before I can bring my characters to life, I must hear them speak and think.
HEARTS IN WINTER, my current wip, was conceived at three o’clock on an early winter’s morn. A woman’s thoughts stepped into my dreams and nudged me awake. From my husband’s side in our warm bed, I arose and stumbled barefoot across the cold floor to my work place. There, bathed in the artificial blue glow of my computer screen, I began to type.
Through all my edits that voice, Clarissa’s sad musing as she sat in her dusky sewing room, has never changed.
I hear Clarissa’s voice as soft as funeral satin. Jebediah, her former lover and the father of her child, speaks in a warm Virginia drawl. Karl sounds like a gravel road, rocky and rough.
Whether my readers will eventually hear my characters as I do does not really matter, as long as they hear them clearly. Through their accents, tone, and words, voices give life to the people in our stories. They help shape them, and push them from the page.
Do you hear voices, too? How do they sound to you?