I hear voices

For me, it all starts with a voice. Soon others chime in. Before I can bring my characters to life, I must hear them speak and think.

HEARTS IN WINTER, my current wip, was conceived at three o’clock on an early winter’s morn. A woman’s thoughts stepped into my dreams and nudged me awake. From my husband’s side in our warm bed, I arose and stumbled barefoot across the cold floor to my work place. There, bathed in the artificial blue glow of my computer screen, I began to type.

She’d been dead nearly a year now.

Through all my edits that voice, Clarissa’s sad musing as she sat in her dusky sewing room, has never changed.

I hear Clarissa’s voice as soft as funeral satin. Jebediah, her former lover and the father of her child, speaks in a warm Virginia drawl. Karl sounds like a gravel road, rocky and rough.

Whether my readers will eventually hear my characters as I do does not really matter, as long as they hear them clearly. Through their accents, tone, and words, voices give life to the people in our stories. They help shape them, and push them from the page.

Do you hear voices, too? How do they sound to you?

3 thoughts on “I hear voices

  1. Hi Deb, this is so true. There is absolutely a voice that calls out when I’m starting a story. For WHISPERS that voice was Grandma Beck, who never made a live appearance in the final draft of the book, but I saw her as clear as day standing on that porch in Diablo Springs, talking to her grandaughter, wishing she’d come home and begging her not to at the same time. That frozen image and the sound of her dispair drove that story.

    Yours sounds VERY intriguiging and I love the first line. Be sure to shout out when there’s more to read!


    Thanks! Erin
    Erin Grady w/a Erin Quinn
    HAUNTING BEAUTY, coming from Berkley August 2009

  2. I sure understand about those “voices” that give life to an idea and a demand to hit the keyboard! Lovely and stimulating post.

    Sorry I just got to it.

    Another interesting point. It never dawned on me till reading this post that your main character has the same name as the deceased wife of my hero in the historical I’m revising right now. We’ve talked about this and the fact that they are both placed in the 1870 decade.

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