Professional authors can become so immersed in their own works that they begin to "hear" the voices of their characters in their heads. Researchers at the University of Durham, in collaboration with The Guardian, interviewed 181 professional writers. 63% of authors “hear” how their characters speak at the moment they write, and 15% can enter into dialogue with them themselves.
Not everyone's experience of "communicating" with their characters was identical, although in many ways the ideas were interspersed. Some authors can control and dictate imaginary dialogues, but more than 60% of respondents claim that their characters act independently, and the writers themselves seem to be in the role of a spectator.
The study authors believe the explanation may be related to our internal monologues. “Most of us tend to try to anticipate what other people say and do in everyday life, ” comments the researcher of English literature John Foxwell. "Writers build the same personal" models "for their characters as they do for real people, they just implement them in their works."
Interestingly, the survey did not reveal any connection with the fact whether the author had an imaginary friend as a child. Some claim that the voice came during the experience akin to hallucinations, and most of them happened while the author was falling asleep or waking up.
Of course, this survey is subjective. We can only state that this phenomenon is quite common among writers and certain patterns can be traced here. The researchers explain that hearing the voices of your characters in your head is not a mental disorder, but only an interesting feature of creative people that helps them create masterpieces.