Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

This is actually very true, as I recently discovered. Having been working on a number of short stories, I found myself with more characters than the collection of stories could adequately support. Each and every single one of them is sat there in my mind, clamoring for space on the page. I find myself writing copious notes, trying to pin these voices to the page, while capturing the essence of their personality, and nuances of my perceptions of them.

The question I keep coming back to, is how any one writer can silence those voices not required by their current project? For me, it’s a solution that I think Douglas Adams would appreciate. A big mug of tea, a big note pad, and an eternal quest for that metaphorical elusive perfect cup of tea. Okay, so I do tend to write with a mug of tea by the computer, but the perfection I am seeking is the right words, phrases, or comments to nail down the essential information about each character. Even while I am writing on a project, I’ll stumble across new voices, demanding attention, waiting for the right project, and their time in the spotlight.

How do you deal with the multitude of voices?

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