The Voices and Stories in Our Heads

 Photo by  Brandon Lopez  on  Unsplash

Photo by Brandon Lopez on Unsplash

Doesn't this picture speak of a mind enriched by books and ideas? What's on all those scraps on the bulletin board? I clutter my world with scraps of voices and stories, so I love seeing this mess. 

People often ask writers where their characters' voices come from. It can seem rather strange. Writers often resort to explanations that sound metaphysical. "They just come to me." "I started hearing her speak."

But maybe the phenomenon doesn't need to be described in such mysterious-sounding ways. It's likely that most people hear voices in their heads. Have you ever anticipated seeing someone unkind, and prepared your replies to the taunts you imagined them hurling at you? Have you ever thought of things you wanted to say to someone, and practiced them in your mind? Those are voices, mini-stories, being built in your head. 

For some reason, fiction writers turn these voices into characters. These characters become people with names and faces that don't match our own. Okay, so maybe it is a little bit mysterious. 

Do you hear voices or stories in your head? I'm not asking if you're crazy. I'm asking if you have ideas that want to be written down. If the answer is yes, then you're a natural storyteller.

Janet BentonComment