When you start hearing voices

I know I’m blogging about writing a lot lately, but it’s on my mind, it’s what I want to do, and I absolutely have to make a go of it. Anyway…

I find other writers interesting and always felt jealous when a writer talked about his/her writing process and how a character started speaking to him/her. I always wanted that for me, but:

I’ve never heard voices.

My process usually starts with a title… Corporate America Stole Another Day of My Life (in progress), Diary of a Recovering Flirt (in progress), Jiggle Hips (not even started)… And with the title comes a very broad idea of what the novel will be about, but nothing specific just yet. A lot of the details that followed the titles of the novels I just mentioned came when I was driving to/from work (the hour commute each way gave me a lot of time to think). The process is somewhat different now that I’m not commuting, but I still think about the details after I think of the title.

However, there is one novel idea that deters from my usual method. A few years ago, I got an idea for a story before the title (in fact, the title still hasn’t come to me). After the idea came the characters. The names of several of the side characters, the stories, but nothing really about the main character. Since I wasn’t ready to work on the story, I wasn’t worried about it. But then I heard her voice. It was yesterday. I was thinking about my mom, and then I heard the character’s voice, heard the first line of the novel, and found her name. It was the craziest thing and really got me excited and eager to start flushing the details out. I have to stem the flow, though. One novel at a time, since I only have a short amount of time to work every day. But:

Finally, I hear voices!

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