It’s not what you think. I don’t suffer from auditory hallucinations, dementia, or schizophrenia, although I do take a daily pill to control my cholesterol. I’m fine; thanks for asking.

I’m referring to dialogue that runs through my head when I’m developing my characters for a story or novel. It’s part of a background script in my mind that sometimes prevents me from being entirely in the moment although, in my defense, I’m not as bad as a Starbucks hobo whiling away my day (life) playing with my electronic toys in a place of business.

I hear my characters, what they say and the way they say it. I try to listen carefully and decide what to put in the story and what to throw away. If I’m successful the characters come to life, becoming real people. These are the books and stories that stay with you, at least to some extent, long after you’ve read them.

That’s what I’m shooting for. Sometimes I succeed.