The Voices in My Head by Sarah Grimm
Ever try explaining to a non-writer what writing is like? How about where your story ideas come from? If you’re like me, your attempts have been met with a blank stare. Or maybe one or two ‘What you talkin’ about, Willis?’ looks.
Yeah, I’ve been on the receiving end of a few of those. Especially when I tell them that my characters talk to me, or more accurately, they talk to each other and my job is to take dictation.
Honest. That’s what writing is like for me. My characters (usually the hero and heroine) start talking, and I frantically try to get down their conversation. If I’m not near a computer, that means scribbling in a notebook. I even have a notebook in my car because I never know when my characters might start talking to each other. Nothing is worse than when my characters have a revealing, heartfelt conversation and I don’t have a pen and paper. Don’t worry, I pull over. I swear.
Then I go home and the real work begins–taking those multiple conversations and turning them into a story. I mean, not like these conversations take place in chronological order or anything, right? Sometimes the very last scene, where everything comes together and all question and doubt is resolved, is what comes first.
The really interesting thing—and most confusing to those people who give you ‘the look’—is when a character strikes up a conversation with you, instead of someone else from the story. Are you asking yourself, “What is that supposed to mean?” I’ll tell you…
Picture this. I’m driving down the freeway (told you I hear voices when I’m driving) and out of the blue Isabeau Montgomery, the heroine from my current release, After Midnight, speaks up.
Isabeau: I can’t tell you how excited I am about tomorrow.
Sarah: I know. Tomorrow’s our release day.
Isabeau: No, silly, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life with Noah.
The day I get my happily-ever-after.
Sarah: You’ve already achieved that – I wrote your story a long time ago.
Isabeau: I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you, but the happy ending only
becomes real once a reader experiences it. That’s when Noah and I have
Sarah: Oh. I guess that makes sense.
Isabeau: *laughter* I didn’t mean to hurt your writer’s ego.
Sarah: It takes more than that to hurt my ego.
Isabeau: Sure it does.
Sarah: So are you ready?
Isabeau: Ready? *more laughter* You’re seriously going to ask me that? I’ve
been looking forward to this my entire life.
Oh, that sigh is me. I mean, how could I not find that statement sigh worthy? And Izzy didn’t hurt my ego. I’m okay with needing a reader to make the story real.
I guess. Especially since I have no choice.
And that, for me at least, is what writing is like—interesting, fun, not always easy, and sometimes when I least expect it, surprising. I love it. Even if I never had another story published, I would write. Because it’s something I’m driven to do. Besides, how else do I quiet the voices in my head?
Sarah Grimm is an award winning author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She lives in West Michigan with her husband, two sons and three miniature schnauzers. Between mom’s taxi service, parts runs, and answering the phone for the family marine repair business, Sarah can be found curled in her favorite chair, crafting her next novel.
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