Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Do Your Characters Argue in Your Head?

Greetings all, John J. Horn here.

Do your characters argue in your head?

Dialog is my favorite part of fiction. My characters do much besides talk, but when they talk I want it to be memorable.

Get-ready-for-battle speeches are fun. I'm-really-the-bad-guy speeches are fun. I-want-to-marry-you speeches can be fun, if you avoid clich├ęs.

My favorite speechifying is when two (or more) friendlies battle verbally about something — anything. It can be about making a trip halfway around the world or how to make sauce (my characters have done both). I'm always on the lookout for good one-liners.

One of my favorite ways to create fun dialog is to have two characters argue in my head. I get fantastic ideas and learn new things about my characters by listening to what comes out of their mouths. It's like stream of consciousness writing, but easier on the wrists.

That sparks a question: For you, is dialog a driving force or an afterthought?

For me, dialog is very much a driving force. So much so that I purposefully begin each of my novels with a line of dialog. Characters drive my story, and dialog drives my relationship with my characters.

So, what about you? Do you hear voices?

P. S. The author of this post is not responsible for strange looks, inquires, or misconceptions that may occur when you realize your characters have been arguing inside your head — out loud.

John J. Horn is a Christian author from San Antonio, Texas. Learn more about John and his Men of Grit series and sign up for his newsletter at


  1. Dialog is definitely a driving force for me, and I do rehearse their conversations before I write them down to get them just perfect. I actually tend to use dialog too much as it is. : )


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