Come On, Speak Your Mind

Isn't it true there are a lot of things we think to ourselves but don't verbalize to the world around us?

Sometimes we confide our true feelings in those close to us but not all the time.  There are things we think that race through our minds as a quick response to a given situation, then there are things that brew over time.

What about you?  Ever think something you'd never dare to verbalize?  I know I have.

And let's admit it, if everyone went around speaking their true feelings and opinions on things the world could be a pretty nasty place, yet at the same time maybe it would make for a peaceful state of existence?  I guess it would all depend.

But what about the characters we write, or the characters we read about?  Do we want them to say everything they think or feel, or does part of the internal conflict not in fact come from their inability to verbalize these things?

Maybe we have a character that is too proud to say sorry, even though they would do anything to mend a relationship.  Pride won't let them communicate their apology.

Maybe we have a character who loves someone but would rather walk through the desert than admit their true feelings, as if it's a weakness.

Maybe we have a complex character who cares too much about things going on around him/her but the other characters in the book would never pick up on that.

Maybe we have a character that doesn't really care for someone else but is too polite to verbalize their true feelings.

Anyway, in my opinion, I believe this human complexity has a definite place in the novels we write, and the novels we read.  And rarely do true feelings demonstrate themselves in a statement, it's something people show, it's energy, it's mannerisms.  Harnessing this aspect in novels makes the characters relatable.  What do you think?


  1. Again, another really interesting and relevant blog! thank You Carolyn

  2. Good post - very true! I'm swinging by from Author Central and I look forward to visiting again.


  3. I flew in from AC.
    I can identify with the sentiments expressed. I may think them but I don't verbalize anything that would hurt someone else. Instead, it stays inside. I think it can be true of the characters in a book most times, since I don't think the author would like the reader to superimpose the thoughts and feelings of the character as the thoughts and feelings of the author. As an author, I know I would lean that way but . . maybe not.

  4. I agree--people and emotions and what we say and how we say them (or what we don't say and how we don't say them) are complex. Characters who are "real" are going to have these complexities, too.

  5. Another thought-provoking post. You are, as always, very correct. Our thoughts are in constant fluctuation, and often our characters reflect that as well. I know I've written 'he/she bit back a reply' a time or two :). It's human nature, right?

  6. All of you are great! Thank you all for your comments :)

  7. I alwasy think of exactly the right thing to say when it's too late! I wish I could easily spout forth the smart 'on target' remark in answer to someone at the time. Then again, perhaps not... Least said and all that?

  8. Pat, your comment makes me think of the movie YOU'VE GOT MAIL where Meg Ryan tells Tom Hanks she wishes she had the ability to snap back with a sharp remark. She eventually does and is sorry she did.

  9. If a character were to spout everything that flows around in their little head the words and fights would be dizzying. Great post

  10. Wouldn't that be an interesting trip! LOL

    Glad you enjoyed the post.


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