Most authors know this phenomena. Most readers have heard authors speak of it. Our characters are alive, ever developing, always distinct in our minds. They talk to us. Tell us what they want to say, what they want to happen to them in our stories.
Often, as I lay in bed just about to fall asleep, I hear them. They’re insistent. I used to call it my inspiration, my muse, my creative juices. I learned it was really these lively characters talking to me.
I keep a pen and paper by my bed. No microphone or recording for me. Writing what I hear grounds it down, makes it real. I laugh because what often happens is the minute I put pen and paper aside and turn off the light, another wonderful tid-bit emerges. It happens again and again. Once the proverbial door is open, they all want their say. This can go on for an a half hour or more. After the first few minutes, I have learned to simply get up and go to my office to properly write things down, so I’m not swamped by small pieces of paper filled with clumsy scribbled notes.
In my newest novel, Carry on the Flame: Part one Destiny’s Call (to be released August 1, 2011), the main character is a young priestess in Glastonbury, England named Sharay. She’s haunted my near sleep state for a long time. After I finished my manuscript she was quiet, yet still there. With the novel’s imminent release, her voice has become louder. She wants an interview with herself, a book trailer, maybe even a sequel. She doesn’t let me sleep.