Thanks, Mr. Fitzgerald, for this little truth. I’ve hardly seen a more accurate quote than this. As writers, we have all these people stored up in our heads. Every character I’ve ever written; every character I’ve yet to write—they’re all in me, waiting for a chance to speak. Sometimes they all talk at the same time, and the only way I can focus on one voice is to sit down at my keyboard and type. I feel all of them, all the time. That’s why I write: because the only way to express the “whole lot of people” individually is to personify them on paper. Sometimes I write a description; sometimes I jot down a paragraph of dialogue I’m hearing in my mind; sometimes I even draw a sketch or find a photograph of someone who looks like the person I imagine. That’s when the multiple mes gain their own identities. That’s when they become concrete.
So how do you give life to the multiple yous? How do you separate them from yourself and make each individual one stand out? I’d love to hear your process.