Lindsey R. Loucks

Author of Romance and Other Scary Things

Waiting For My Main Character To Talk To Me

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Argh, I have this problem a lot. I’ve started writing a brand new story, and my main character is a bit of an oddball. The problem is she won’t speak to me. I waited for her to start talking so I could transcribe everything, but nope. Nothing. I had high hopes for spring break – I was going to crank out fifty pages. All I got was seven, which isn’t bad, but spring break was ten days long. Ten days. Seven pages. Frowny face goes here.

Those seven pages were mostly actions and dialog since my main character wouldn’t share her thoughts with me. Then, this last Sunday, she started talking. I wrote three pages in two hours. Not great, but not bad.

We’re working through her trust issues. Slowly. I’m trying to make her think I exist just to tell her story, and I think it’s going to be a good one.

I know I’ve blogged about this before, but is it possible to force your characters to talk to you?

P.S. I’m glad I can call myself a writer, because otherwise I’d be labeled a schizophrenic. 😀

9 Comments

  1. Have you tried interviewing your characters? I’ve blogged about this before, and other writers have too. There are other similar techniques, like getting them to write a letter home about what they’re getting up to.

  2. I talk to my characters while driving alone. Then I speak in their voice to answer. Hahah. Yes folks would think I’m a little odd if they heard me, but It really works. Once I answered my mobile phone in the character of a seven-year-old character. It was my adult daughter that had phoned and she said, “Who are you and what are you doing answering my mother’s phone?”

    Of course I couldn’t resist answering in the voice of the character. I said, “I’m Polly and you can get lost.” Then I hung up.

    Teehee. When my daughter phoned back, she asked me who the little girl was. LOL.

    After that, I knew who my character was as she talked more often. The brat.

  3. Your character sounds interesting, Lindsey. Good luck with her. I hope she doesn’t give you too much trouble.

  4. You know how I do it? I put them through hell. If they don’t start yelling at me to quit writing bullshit about them, they deserve what’s coming. But, usually, they come around before I get to put them in the frilly pink party frock 😀

  5. I think if you put your character into the middle of a dilemma where no option provides a perfect answer and try to work out the best thing to do that might force your character to speak up. Testing situations tend to be harder to sit silently through.

    mood

  6. Yep, I kidnapped one of the people closest to her, then had some mean dude chase her through a lightning storm. Did I mention she has metal chains for hair? So lightning + metal = no good. That was all in the first chapter.

    I guess I could have killed her pet alien (who’s name is Major Jill), but that would’ve crossed a line, I think. Believe me, I am so evil to characters, it’s not even funny. Well, maybe a little funny. It’s quite possible this character’s problem was that she was still in shock from all this happening.

    Funny story, Trish!

  7. My characters do this to me sometimes… In the novel I’m querying, my MC didn’t want to open herself up to me until I did a round of revisions… go figure… sometimes it takes time.

  8. Ian already stole my answer, but I will repeat it anyway. Character interview. You’ve read mine, so you know the format I’m talking about. Park her butt in a chair and start asking questions. She’ll either answer them or back-talk you. Either one gets them going!

    –j–

  9. Tania – I’m glad I’m not the only one!

    J – Good idea!

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