There’s a crowd in my head!

In response to my post How I read from there to here! T.A. Olivia, aka Darksculptures remarked that her reading path might indicate she had multiple personalities. She wasn’t serious, but in a sense that seems logical to me. Fiction writers do have a semblance of multiple personalities, at least temporarily. So do actors, I would think. To write well, you have to “get into character.” You have to think and speak and act like your fictional characters.

The deeper you go, the more life you breathe into your fiction. If my characters don’t seem real to me, I can’t make you believe them. Where do these fictitious persons come from? Why, “out of my mind”, of course. They are a multitude. All ages, all types, all with different wants, needs, likes, hates … stories.

It can get crowded in there, with each character angling to be first in line. And when they begin to gang up on me, insisting on acting out their scenes, reciting their lines, it seems the logical thing to do is release them  … onto paper.

So, yeah, when you look at me, you only see one person, but that’s a lie. There are more people to me than meets the eye. How about you?

Disclaimer: It was not my intention, in this post, to belittle the psychological condition known as Multiple Personality Disorder.

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28 thoughts on “There’s a crowd in my head!

  1. Yes, there are many people in my head. Fortunately, I’m learning to quiet the ego, so I can hear all the characters:)

    Great analogy, Linda!

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  2. I read once that writers live life with their skin off. Your post made me think of that – yes, they are inside me, but sometimes I feel like I draw others’ stories/psyches into my own.

    hmmm. That sounds a bit demented, but it’s true.

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  3. I love the way, we as writers can capture and evoke characters! We take bits of our own personal interactions, likes, dislikes and mold them onto the white page into a fully fledged character that we hope the reader can identify with! I mean the possibilities and voices are endless…Great post!

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    1. Thank you. You know, continuing the metaphors, writers are like cooks, in a way. We mix personality characteristics, bits of conversation, displays of emotion, elements of setting into a life situation and bon appetit!

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  4. To quote something I said in my last post:

    “I have a head full of broken, startling, horrid characters roaming about. They keep company with resilient, strong beautiful spirits. It’s an uneasy balance of both.”

    I think it’s natural to have multiple characters roaming around in my head space. I never know what direction they’ll take me in next. (Hugs)Indigo

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  5. I believe that the reason I prefer to write first person is because I do become that character, I experience their feelings, feel their hurts, their happiness.

    Sometimes there are so many different characters in my head that it’s difficult not to jump around from story to story. It seems that only when I am deeply into that character does writing become effortless, and the story unfolds all on it’s own.

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  6. There are “Method Actors” who become the character they are playing.

    I think some writers also use this skill as “Method Writing”. I try to submerge myself in the character as if I were traveling through the chapters in their shoes and seeing the world through their eyes. Mostly I do this during prewriting and the character study phase. Then when it becomes time to draft, I can quickly change from one character’s actions to another, because I’ve become familiar with them in a personal way.

    I believe this personality hopping is what adds that factor of believability to our novels. Our characters feel real, because to us they are.

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    1. “Method Writing”, yeah, that’s what I do, only I do it while writing because I don’t do “pre-writing.” And just like a method actor, sometimes it takes awhile to separate myself from my character when I’m through writing for the day. I can’t imagine developing characters any other way.

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  7. What’s weird for me is that in my WIP, the character I’m having the most difficulty with is the one who is sorta kinda ME. But all my characters are amalgams of different people, real and imaginary. And, as we know from writing, these characters emerge, grow, morph as we write — all by themselves, it seems.

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      1. Could be. I suspect she’s trying to reveal things I’m not ready for….yet. But we’re gonna keep at this slow dance for a while…then I’d like to step it up to a tango once we start moving together and forward better.

        But with my luck, we could be stuck at the Hokey Pokey…..

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  8. SO true. I often have prototypes in mind when I write, but all the situations are fictional, so I suppose these people are living and reacting within me.

    Darksculptures – I love the idea of method writing. The closest I come to that is that I have iTunes playlists for my POV characters. But I don’t get totally method (especially when writing my pot-smoking, thieving hero’s POV!).

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    1. “(especially when writing my pot-smoking, thieving hero’s POV!).”

      OMG too funny! I wonder if that can be used as defense. “I was just acting out the character in my novel, your Honor.”

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  9. I think the best writers are those who can nail so many different types of people from the biker dude to the little old lady who collects frog figurines and wears girl barrettes. Stephen King is a pro at people; I always thought.

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  10. I definitely have many people in my brain, but all those many people have a little of me too. I can’t help but give my characters some of my own personality.

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