I hear voices in my head.
Really, all the time. They have very distinct accents and vocabulary, and each has a different tone, melodic or husky, a unique style, slow and confident or abrupt and nervous. Each voice changes very slightly depending upon which of the other voices it is speaking with at the time.
That’s right. The voices in my head speak to each other, not to me. That would just be silly.
It is a very rare voice which does not change depending on its audience. Most do. When speaking to a lover, a rival, a mentor or a sibling, don’t our tones and vocabulary differ a bit? Don’t we tense our consonants around some people, while relaxing our vowels around others? We even express ourselves differently based upon the age of our audience.
Writing dialogue is an exercise in sociology, maybe even a psychological experiment. We as authors must know not only how our character feels about a topic, but also how he feels about the person he is conversing with about the topic. How much can any character truly reveal about her opinion in this situation? Has an opinion even really been solidified?
The voices in my head are fantastic companions, with a wide range of personalities. I exist to place them in situations which are beyond their comfort zones, and among people who test their beliefs and understanding of their worlds, so that they come to know their own true selves to the extent that it is ever possible to do so. And perhaps as I am doing that, I am learning something about my own voice as well.