Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Guest Post by Kat Hawthorne: The Importance of The Voices in a Writer's Head


All writers hear voices in their head. Don’t try to deny it, it’s true. And it’s not just those that belong to our characters, either, at least it isn’t for me. The most persistent voice in my head has a name. It’s Kirsten, and she is my best writing buddy.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I believe that adage can be applied to writing as well. Writers cannot create believable characters if they do not have the ability to take on multiple personalities. Some folks call it a disorder. I call it life. But I doubt even my extreme degree of weirdness would be enough to get me through an entire manuscript on my own. I get by with a little help from my friends.

If the writer is the soul, the writer’s peers are the body. The body carries the soul around from place to place, showing it things it may not otherwise have seen, giving it experiences it may not otherwise have experienced. The body listens to the soul’s ideas, helps it decide which paths to follow and which to trash. Listens when the soul is saddened, wants to give up, believes it isn’t good enough. Then celebrates when the soul finds success. Without the body, the soul is but a complicated string of thoughts.

I don’t think I’d be able to write without my writing buddy (she’s real, by the way. I think…). Writing is not a solitary occupation. Listen when the voices in your head tell you something. Chances are, the voice has a name. And she knows what she’s talking about.

Does this post make me seem crazy?



Kat Hawthorne tends to lurk (somewhat menacingly) in the darker corners of the literary world. In addition to a smattering of published poetry, Kat’s short fiction has appeared in such literary magazines as Underneath the Juniper Tree, Thrills Kills and Chaos, Infernal Ink, Dark Edifice, Shadows Express, Fiction and Verse, and The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society. Her literary novelette, The Oddity, was published by MuseIt Up Publishing on July 11th, 2014. In partnership with Enter Skies Entertainment, Kat wrote the narrative portion of Fearless Fantasy, an online role-playing game published by tinyBuild Games and hosted by Steam. As well as being a nerd of the highest order, under her “day name” Kat is a graduate of Ryerson University’s copy, substantive, and stylistic editing programs, and has since earned a specialization in editing books intended for young readers. She is an acquisitions, stylistic and copy editor at BookFish Books LLC and runs her own business where she offers her editing services on a freelance basis.

Please visit www.katmhawthorne.com for more information about Kat’s writing, or www.movetothewrite.com to learn about her editing work.

{P.S. Leandra here, and I just have to say I'm in love w/the spooky little mouse found on Kat's website!}


Isabel Wixon is weird. Not only does she see dead things, but her only friends consist of a talkative ventriloquist’s dummy and the gentlemanly spider that lives in her hair. Real friends? Too hard. Inventing friends is much easier. 

Inventing the Boatman—a terrible monster that lures kids into a strange sleeping sickness and never lets them go—probably wasn’t one of her better ideas though. 

13 comments:

  1. LOL, the voice of one of my CPs talks to me in my head. Sometimes I think, I know what Krystalyn would say about this, and I change it without even having to ask her.

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  2. I couldn't survive without my writer buddies! So glad to have their voices in my head. Also, that cover is amazing :)

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  3. YESS...haha. I love my writer friends. And I'm always hearing the voices of what my parents would say, CPs, Carrie, etc. And this book sounds pretty freaking fantastic :)

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  4. THIS IS SUCH A GREAT POST! Love my writer friends. I've actually been thinking about the different personalities we take on a lot lately...it is kinda crazy, just a bit, isn't it?

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  5. I love my CPs. Their opinions matter above all. I'll often hear my editor's voice when I write. "Remove that extra dialogue tag." Or "use a more precise verb."

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  6. Great post. Yes, lots of voices in my head too, including those of my editors. However, I love it best when my characters open up and spill everything.

    Congratulations on the BOATMAN and on living such a literary life!

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  7. Fantastic post! I'm glad to know that the voices in my head are helpful rather than just insanity. :)

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  8. This totally made me happy--it's always a relief to know I'm not the only one with voices in my head :)

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  9. That is a creepy awesome cover! Wow! I LOVE it.

    Okay, as for Kat's post, I agree. We all have voices in our heads and mine are much smarter than I am, so that means I always listen.

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  10. I talk to myself--am I the only writer who does that?! I love her cover. It's so eye-catching!

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  11. Great guest post, Kat and Leandra! I enjoyed visiting Kat's website, as well. My characters talk in my head all the time--does this count?

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  12. It's especially helpful when two or more voices tell you the same thing. Then you know it has to be true. Love that cover!

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  13. I love the blurb for THE BOATMAN and the illustration! It has that wonderfully creepy Tim Burton feel to it. Wishing Kat much success! :)

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