…will hold conversations between people that don’t exist. We don’t talk to ourselves…we talk to the people we created from nothing.” I read this somewhere once, and it really stuck out to me, because whoever wrote this has a point. If we don’t talk to the characters we create, then they are never real to us to begin with. Writers have to understand every inch of the character before writing their story, otherwise it will just be a blob of useless words. If you write without knowing what the character wants, or how they feel, or what they are going to be going through, then you will have a really difficult time coming up with a reason for the character to move forward. Before you start writing, you need to know what happened to the character before the story starts; how did the character get to this point, what happened that made them who they are, why do they react the way they do? If you understand the characters past, then you will be able to help them through the present and future of the story.
I personally talk out loud to the characters I create all the time: when I’m driving, working, biking, showering. I do this because I need to put myself in their shoes before writing their story. I often feel like I don’t create the story at all; I am my characters’ interpreter so that others understand what they are going through. I need to do this because otherwise the characters are just words on a page. They don’t have any structure, and they need structure in order to move forward in their lives. And that’s what authors are for. We help them move forward.