Some writer regularly talk to their characters. Their characters live in their heads. They talk to them and laugh with them regularly. I am one of those people.
For all non-writers, no we are not insane. This is our version of normal.
If this is you and you think your nuts. You are not alone here fellow writer, let us all go crazy together(with our characters of course). That has recently happened to me too. So, they talk to you regularly or only sometimes.
I talk to them sometimes. Sometimes my main characters pop up when I'm stressed out or just really really bored. I don't see them of course, I just imagine their voices and how they'd look sitting or standing somewhere.
We writers don't really ''see'' or ''hear'' them as we'd see anything in right front of us with our senses.We see them with our minds and ''feel'' them
Now this can be used at an advantage. You see, these characters are more than imaginary friends and just characters. Once they live in your head it's personal.
I am of a belief that if the writer him/herself cannot connect with the character neither will the reader. The more you bond with your character, the more you make them real. Think about their personalities while your not writing. Imagine them making side comments and laughing at jokes they'd find funny. You'll come to understand them more.
This is a great technique, some people use it without realizing it or trying to.
In real life try to think if things like: '' Oh, Alice and Bob would love that place.''
In our novels we bring out our characters personality through the things we put them through. Why not bring them out and try to understand them by having them react to real life events and see those reactions? It will let you understand their perspectives more.
I am also of a belief that your characters have to breathe, no they have to give the story carbon dioxide. Without carbon dioxide the story suffocates and cannot in turn give the characters oxygen. A living breathing person is complex. We cannot mimic a real person, no matter how hard we try, we cannot mimic the complex psychology of a real human. We can make them seem real. I think talking to your character outside of your novel can help with that.
So just simply making your character react to things outside of your novel will help like if the place Alice and Bob like is a library. You probably have discovered that they like reading (or maybe the concrete they used to make the library).
Characters aren't made by planning them, they change and grow and breath. You don't know them yet. Talk to them. Hey, it may seem crazy but it works!
To all the writers there, do you talk to your characters? How often do they talk to you?