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My Characters are My Best Friends

Updated: May 21, 2019

Most authors get asked the same mundane questions... "Where do you get your ideas?" "Where do you come up with your titles?" "How do you name your characters?" Things like that... But the one most important question that I never get asked that is THE question above all else is: "What is your relationship like with your characters?"

Yes. You read that correctly. No one ever seems to ask me how my relationship is with my #characters because most people don't realize that's how it works with authors and their books.

I can't speak for all #authors. Really, I can only speak for myself. But I know that when I create a character, I create the whole person. In my mind, that character takes on an entire persona. I can vividly see their faces, the way they move and speak, how they look when they get upset or when they are happy, even what their childhood might've been like. I can see every part of who they are. I can even hear their voices. No, I'm not hearing voices. Okay. Sometimes I do when we decide to have a conversation. Yes, I talk to my characters when they decide to do things in the book that I didn't originally predict would happen. But that's not what's important. What's important is that to me, my characters become real. They become people. They are not just words on a page. In my mind, it's as though they actually exist. I dream about them. I write about them. I even talk about them to my poor husband as if they were sitting right next to us. They are no longer just imaginary to me. They become a part of who I am. If my relationship with my characters is askew, then the character is going to be moody for a few pages making the entire story off kilter. When readers ask me "how do you come up with your names?" or questions like that. What I want to say is that I don't need to struggle for a name or a title because the character has already been so real in my mind for so long that it's like naming a child that's been a part of me for 9 months. It's natural. My characters are real to me. To some this might be weird and they could never understand. That's okay. I would tell them not so sit next to me in a coffee house because they would think I've lost my damn mind as I sit and talk to "no one."

-Meg S


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