A fiction writer friend shared that he wrote his novels in three psychological states: the first being when he was creating the characters using all the standard writing advisements, the second when in his own mind the characters began to take on a life of their own in his head, and the final stage when he felt that the characters were getting to have too much of a life on their own and that was when he, as he said, "wanted them out of his head." In other words, it was time to wrap the story up. So I was wondering if anyone else had the experience of the characters we've created become a little too life-like. Another writer I know says that while she's constructing her fiction, she actually speaks with the characters he's created as though they were there and he claims they answer (in her head, of course). She understands that the characters and the conversations are imaginary, but feels that it allows her to write about these characters as if they were real. Anyone else have opinions on this approach?