I would like to introduce you to a pair of characters that have lived in my head for years. They came to take up their residence when I was only a few years old, but they've never seen reason to move out. And so, Peter and Wendy have lived in my head and grown up with me.
I'm sure that I'm not alone when I say most authors start this way... making up stories in their head. Peter and Wendy used to have all kinds of adventures in my head - though not in Neverland - quite sadly, that was never their location. Somehow, they became my own, not the famous pair from the old story.
Let me start by telling you about my Peter. I want you to meet him. My Peter became a boy by the name of Peter Parker (Yes, that I took from spiderman. Forgive me, I was six) who grew up in a hospital because of a rare muscle disease that paralyzed him. Sometimes, depending on my story, he was an orphan, other times his father left him, not knowing what to do with him. Either way, he was always a tragic figure, as well as a hero. In all circumstance, Peter has three things in his favor that keep him going: he is affluent, he is incredibly intelligent, and he is fun-loving. This is my Peter. He lives in my head.
My Wendy, is actaully named Gwendolyn. Wendy is only a short name for her. Sometimes, she was a girl who suffered a slight injury and ended up in the same wing of the hospital as Peter. In other cases, she happened to be a girl who came to visit patients at the hospital as a good-deed-doer and met Peter that way. In both cases, they became friends and partners in Peter's pranks and escapades.
By now, you are wondering why I chose to introduce you to those characters. They are a bit different and will never have their story make it to paper, but nevertheless, they are always in my head and remind me of why I love telling stories. I truly do hope you have someone, or someones, who live in your head too. It's rather amazing to have a fictional someone like that... and no, if you are an author, it is not strange =)
but anyways... having a character live in your head also helps you to write better. It can help you to know them inside and out and keep you from writing clones. CLONES are characters that all act and think the same, and I assure you, clones make for an incredibly dull story. Two characters should never be exactly alike.