A friend who is also a writer had a book signing that heralded the publication of her book that chronicled the adventure of a young girl solving a mystery with Sherlock Holmes’ help. The event was well attended by friends, members of her writing group and other aspiring writers.
During a question and answer period Elizabeth who goes by the sobriquet “Mitty” was asked a number of questions about how she came to write the book, how she decided on the name of the girl who is the main character and whether she talks to her characters and whether they talk to her.
I’ve never thought about that last question but it does pique my interest. As I wrote back to her I don’t really talk to the people who inhabit my books, but they do seem to have minds of their own as the twists and turns of the story proceed in ways that writing on the fly doesn’t always prepare me for. I don’t know whether thinking about the characters constitutes a dialog, although what I hear them saying does more often than not appear on the page.
Getting the tone right for a particular character is difficult at times and often requires an edit to bring the latest utterance in line with the general “voice” the character presents. I suspect that others walk through a similar sequence to make sure their characters don’t step out of “character.”