Some writers call it instinct. J.R. Ward calls it her Rice Krispies. I sometimes call it the voices in my head, but mostly I call it by my characters’ names.
I’ve been writing for many years now. I’ve had stories in my head demanding to be let free since high school, but it’s only recently that my characters have actually been strong enough to talk to me. And that is the most awesome feeling.
My first novels were focused more on plot than character. With my last novel, Fallen Redemption, I decided to use Holly Lisle’s Create a Character Clinic. Her step-by-step outlines allowed me to delve into my character’s heads more deeply than before. It was after this clinic that my characters actually started to talk to me. During FR’s pre-writing phase, I’d hear hints of words or see plot images in my head. I dismissed nothing. Even if what I heard was not what I’d planned for my story. It took until the end of the novel to realize that it wasn’t my story. It was my hero’s and I’d been lucky enough to hear it.
Oh, I wasn’t always that gracious. And I’m still not today. Just last week my latest hero, Lucas, informed me that in order to defeat the evil-soul-sucking guys he has the find “the key”. I have no idea what he’s talking about or where to even start looking for this key. Nice, Lucas. Could you be anymore cryptic? Wait. Don’t answer that. But no matter how frustrated I get, I can’t wait to find out where he takes me.