And I am answering these 100% honestly no bullshit.
Do you hear 'voices' in your head?
I do actually. Not satanic "YOU MUST KILL YOUR PARENTS AND BOSS WITH RANCID COW PATTIES" type shit.
It's usually dialogue snapshots of various plot bunnies.
Do you feel that a 'muse' and a 'voice' are usually one and the same?
In my case yes it is, they are interchangeable
In what way do you feel they contribute to your writing? Just dialogue? Or do they contribute to all aspects of your work?
First it's the random "voiceless" idea. Like setting/place/time period/era in usually a picturesque GRANDIOSE scale. If I wrote all my vivid ideas down, I'd kill an entire rainforest of trees with my paper needs.
I get EPIC size ideas.
THEN when I focus on just one of the ideas rattling my brain... THEN the voices start and it's a full blown conversation going on. I'm usually just sitting and watching/listening like a movie. Taking pertinent mental notes and hope I can remember all this later when I actually have time to sit down at a computer to start typing the dialogue I'm hearing OUT.
I usually have about 98% recall.
And never less than 5 or 6 plots at once demanding attention.
One thing I'm grateful for is a ACTIVE imagination.
Do you 'think' dialogue and then say it out loud in your own voice?
Honestly, if I'm in bed TRYING to sleep. My brain is usually going 100 MPH. I actually begin voicing one of the roles, working out inflection, emotion, motivation etc... the other character thankfully stays in my head. To those listening to me it's like a one sided conversation.
Hello my name is Sybil.
If you've never managed to 'hear' the voices, do you find writing dialogue difficult?
I find writing everything ELSE difficult.
Dialogue is a PEICE of PROVERBIAL CAKE for me!
I have to force myself to write filler sentences for scenery settings / moods /etc... My fics start out practically one entire conversation only.
Do individual characters have individual voices?
DITTO, I hear them all, and every personality is contained with the voice.
Does the strength of a character's voice correlate with the strength of the character per se? I.e. an alpha male character has a 'loud' or 'dominating' voice, whereas a minor character is often hard to hear.
No, but if the character is say my "Quiet Type" He's soft spoken. Not silent.
He's not mute, he's in character and I can hear him or her just fine.
Have you ever managed to get so deeply into a character that you managed to worry yourself? (You know, niggling thoughts of a latent personality disorder...:P)
Well have you seen my previous answers? It may well be a personality disorder... it may be one hell of an active imagination.
Whatever it may be I wouldn't worry until you see me in the bus stop, with 2 cups of coffee. One for me and one for "my little friend".
If you've ever strayed away from fandom stars, have you ever managed to create a really strong original character out of thin air? Complete with unique personality and voice?
Let me introduce you too:
Taran, Staven, Grace, Levi, Rocky, Calum, Gawen, Saishi, Sho, Kireikin, Tanner, Helen, David, Tavahr, Aveanna, Valeria, *GASP*, Willow, Marshall, Kit, Peter, Benjamin, Janus... Hang on let me get my Character Index from my novels out, make sure I don't miss anybody here, they'd be MAD.
No thank you, I have more than enough original voices, they are the D tabernacle CHOIR at times.
(Optional question: If yes, how did you manage to get rid of the little bugger?) :P
Which little bugger? Have I missed something? You mean my muse(s)? Why would I want to get rid of them?
Get rid of? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA... They just take turns sleeping on the couch in my head. Some are on the floor, some in the bedroom, over here in the Jacuzzi....
They just fight each other for dominance.
And sometimes they want writing time, and sometimes they walk around in the buff for me to draw.
Do you think it at all strange when some writers talk of hearing 'voices'?
Have you ever suspected they're all just pulling your leg and that it's probably some inside 'writers' joke?
How about when they discuss their 'muses' as if they're living, breathing entities, complete with fluctuating moods?
Suppose you decided to give writing a go. How would you go about trying to cultivate muses and voices?
People are crazy, and sooner or later you'll hear that inner monologue commentary start.
THAT'S YOUR MUSE. Grab on, he usually has LOTS to say.
If you could 'order' a muse, what would you ask for? What would be your specifications? male or female? Young or old? One with a sense of humor? One who could inspire you to write steamy sex-scenes?
That I can't answer. Every muse is individual, and there's one for every purpose.
The more the merrier. One of them should be on the time clock when you want to do something if you have enough muses to pick and choose from.
(And don't bother asking for an exceptional maker of unlimited cups of good coffee. Apparently the muse-union won't allow it. :P)