In my internal dialogue, in my deepest, most secret thoughts (“If I were Queen of the Universe, I’d have that person beheaded”) and in my less secret thoughts (“Don’t forget to pick up that Matchbox car from the stairs before you trip on it and tumble down to a messy death”, or “Buy bleach”)…I talk to myself in third person.
“December, you’re an idiot. Why did you do that?”
“You need to get up now if you want to take a shower before taking the Princess to school.”
“You’re always tripping on those stupid Matchbox cars.”
I always thought this was normal. Apparently I was wrong. (“You were wrong,” I say to myself.)
It seems every other person–every normal person–thinks in first person and first person only.
Is it because they know themselves better? Is it because they like themselves better?
Or am I a sociopath? (December, are you a sociopath? There was that time you saw human suffering and laughed. Yes, so that was America’s Funniest Home Videos, the one and only time you watched it. But still…)
I talk to myself in my head a lot, too. I’m a lot like JD in Scrubs in that way. I’m always thinking how things would be if this was a movie, how the next day or week or whatever would cut away and we’d get a glimpse of the future. But JD thinks of himself in first person, and I don’t. So I’m either weird or incredibly self-conscious.
Or maybe I’m self-aware. Perhaps my third-person thoughts are an indication of my observant character, a special mark that makes me a writer. But my crit partner is a wonderful writer and I know for a fact that she thinks in first person exclusively. (Because she told me.)
My characters think in third as well. They refer to themselves as “you.” Sometimes “I” but mostly “you.”
How do you think, and what do you think that says about you? And if you write, how do your characters think, and why? Is it a choice you think about, or is it just the way it goes?