Whispers – From Fragment to Fiction

They are speaking to me again!

Who are they, those voices who whisper words to me across a veil as thin as thought?

Don’t worry folks, I’m not suffering from some severe mental deficiency that conjures an overtly passive aggressive yet oddly charming phantom version of me that is attempting to persuade me to plot the murder of a couple of vertically challenged, hairy footed fellas just because one of them has a shiny golden ring! I am of course referring to those voices that come accompanied by the conversations that emanate as a result of the effort you have put into your work as a writer of fiction. Or in my case, fantasy fiction. To create a world of fantasy and to populate it with creatures and characters can be a particularly satisfying process. Now I find that this world, Ayl’gard, which was once as empty as a graveyard with only a vague historical template in place is becoming busier and busier with each passing week.

It is a peculiar feeling as a writer isn’t it? To sit down and create a piece of prose where your characters are having a conversation with each other but through you. Without your words to bring life to a scene or a chapter, they may as well be banging their heads on brick walls in utter frustration for their inability to converse without the guidance of your hand to put into place their thoughts, feelings and echoes of intent. We provide that forum for their connections. I open the door for them, ask them to come in and I swear it is like I am merely a spectator sitting by the side, merely giving a voice or two to a situation that is unravelling marvellously before my eyes. All in my own head at first and then onto the page.

Did I mention that this is all very peculiar? But a good kind of peculiar. Not ‘Oh there he goes again staring through the neighbours windows with his pen and notepad looking for inspiration and smiling as they give him the finger whilst secretly disappointed they aren’t inviting him in for some tea and biscuits’ peculiar! There are plenty of opportunities to gain inspiration without resorting to pissing off the neighbours.

So who are they really, these fragments? Where do they come from? Are they figments of me, my imagination, because I often ponder the possibility that this world of fantasy I have created and populated with fictional characters is slowly acquiring some sentience. A life of its own. And such a notion, as ridiculous as it might seem to some, is absolutely brilliant to me.

Some regions of Ayl’gard are quieter than others when formulating ideas for stories, I will be the first to admit. Of the three continents I’ve created thus far, it is the cities and settlements of Gaiaden that have been the busiest. I’ve written a fair bit about the Middemire region and the Barony of Amberfall as some of you who visit here regularly will be aware. Not that there isn’t a mild din of voices coming from the other two, Terraden and Valleden. Maybe I have a subconscious preference for the people in Ayrlaston and Lochland just because they were the first to be crafted from the chaotic cauldron of whispers and words that is my mind. I think what brings me joy in this regard is that there is someone speaking to me from every corner of this world and it would be my utmost pleasure to be able to tell those stories. Some day.

Many writers amongst you will probably have some inkling of what I am referring to. All it takes for your characters to get chatty with each other is a few embers of imagination and those first few lines of dialogue on the page. For any of you who are just getting started for the first time with your character creation and might be uncertain as to how to proceed, just have a go and do as I suggested. Eventually you may just be filling your pages with conversation after conversation from characters beginning to take on a life of their own. In time, some of these fictional fragments may become fictional entities that will form the basis of your own story.

I don’t get the opportunity to speak with many writers face to face and so it is difficult for me to gain insight into the creative processes of others without delving online for verification of my own personal brand of weird. For the purpose of full disclosure, I am a little weird and I am completely fine with that. I think an element of ‘weird’ might actually be an unwritten, softly spoken requisite for being a writer of fiction.

How do you approach your characters and their development my fellow writers? I am intrigued.

Forged From Reverie.

 

 

30 thoughts on “Whispers – From Fragment to Fiction

  1. I start with a name, then a rough physical description. I would describe myself as a frustrated screen writer. My process is highly visual in my head, my chapters more like movie scenes. So more often than not I have in mind an actor or actress to ‘play’ my characters. I’ve written all my characters in my first novel with a specific ‘cast’ in mind.
    When it comes to dialogue I then write with the actor/actress I’ve ‘cast”s own voice. It makes working out the language of what I hear them say to each other flow.
    As for my world and the story within I have found somethi.g Stephen King wrote in his biography/writers guide ‘On Writing ‘ to hold credence – that oftentimes characters will ‘write themselves’ often for you, or even against your original will.
    A good personal example of this in my own work was a xhapter where I’d decided to kill off a tertiary character. During his pitched battle in which he was supposed to be slain, my character ‘decided’ He wanted to live. I got mad for him at my decision as his creator to end his life, and so I wrote a conclusion to the fight in which he survived. It was a highly peculiar yet organic process. Strange the way our writer minds work, isn’t it?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I know what you mean. I’ve written parts with my own particular intentions in mind only for the bastards, that I created and should have utmost control over, to decide that nope, things are going to transpire a little differently!

      I’d never considered ‘casting’ my characters to give them a basis from which to evolve. Intriguing. Thank you greatly for your input good sir and you’re right, our minds certainly deviate from the ‘norm’.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Over the years, I have created many characters, worlds, and their stories in my mind. Some sit in my computer, a few pages, waiting for me to visit….I sometimes wish I could just take the “whole” of these stories out of my brain, and somehow paste them into a word document. Most of the characters contain aspects of me, and people I know. They have pasts, which they deny, or obsess over, and goals or trials that are seemingly insurmountable. It seems like an old standard of story line, but this is what the voices whisper to me. I start with a world. I walk around it for a bit, and discover characters, as I go. They tell me their stories. I write them down. Someday I hope to give them proper endings.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Excellent. Thank you Jackie. Your process seems to be remarkably similar to mine.

      Like you, I would also like the ability to transfer my character musings onto a page almost instantly. It would certainly save on time. But could you imagine the lengths of the novels if this were to become commonplace? A large novel of 120,000 would transform into an insurmountable epic perhaps ten times that amount.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I honestly just wait. Most of the original fantasy I’ve written marinated for years before I sit down to write. I take notes and whatnot, but I have to have a decent portion of the story before I can start to write.

    I definitely hear their conversations in my head, and I’ve found non-writers will give you an odd look of you talk about this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sometimes it is good to let your works build themselves up to become bigger and richer than they were pre-internal character conversation. I have done/still doing that very same thing myself.

      Thanks for joining in. As for the non-writers and their bemusement, I pity those, a little bit, who only have their own voice rattling around in their minds.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. At the risk of sounding mental…there are many voices inside of me who beg to be given names, and hearts. All of my characters are carved out of aspects of me–integrity, spite, humor, etc. And like raising children, they begin to grow independent, and actually make their own choices, if that makes any sense?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I never really thought about it before but I think I might actually talk aloud to myself sometimes when writing dialogue. lol Kind of like how when I draw I often wind up making the facial expression of the character I’m drawing at the time. It definitely makes drawing in public interesting. 😛 Fortunately I pretty much only write in private so people have yet to hear me having conversations with myself.
    I saw someone else mention the ‘casting characters’ thing in your comments section and I tend to do that as well. 🙂
    Characters are so much fun to create. I feel like I tend to think up a lot of things regarding my characters that will never even get mentioned in the actual writing, but that is still important for me to know because it helps me know them better and how they should act and whatnot. I feel like I’m babbling and not making any sense, so I’m going to blame it on my drowsy nighttime cold medicine I’m taking at the moment. lol This was a cool post though, and I wanted to join in on the fun! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • It seems like you lose yourself to the character creation process as your mind carves out a piece of your psyche to be developed in words and drawings. That’s pretty damned cool!

      Anything you ‘think of’ for your characters helps to make them who they are so. I have something similar to that in my processes where I will have a fair amount of ‘potentially’ unnecessary information but it all gives those characters that little bit more life to them.

      Thanks for letting us know your thoughts my dear and I wish you a quick recovery from what ails you.

      Liked by 2 people

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