Monday, April 11, 2011

Trying someting new: Developing character voice


Since I started this adventure in writing I learned pretty zippity-quick that in order to make it in this business, you have to have a strong voice. It took a while for me to get a grasp on "what" voice is. It's not the easiest to explain. However, KNOWING what voice is doesn't mean that it comes easy. I've finished my first Novel, UNSEEN, but I tried so hard to make sure all the words were perfect that I think the voice came across unnatural. I still love the story and will most likely go back to it one day and try to fix it. For now, I'm starting a new book. I'm aiming for a natural yet unique voice. So . . . before I begin the book, I've decided to get into my main characters head. I am starting a journal as if my main character were writing it. I'm hoping this will give me a good idea of who my character is, how she thinks, talks and even how the story will unfold. Usually I need an outline to write a book. But with this journal thing . . . I can just let the story take on a life of it's own. I'm hoping this journal will give me the structure for my outline. Who knows. It's worth a shot to try. That's part of the fun of writing . . . right?

So . . . what do you do to get to know your characters and develop their unique voice? I'd love to hear more ideas!

16 comments:

Bish Denham said...

A lot of times my characters kind of yell at me and make themselves very clear as to who they are and how they sound.

C.R. Evers said...

LOL, Bish. YOu have some spunky characters. :0)

Kelly said...

The journal idea is a great one, Christy!
I do a character sheet/history and fill out details that may or may not be included in the story and go from there!
Good luck with your new story!

C.R. Evers said...

Thanks Kelly! I think having a history and deatails of a character really helps them to be more rounded. I love your character sheet idea!

Rena said...

A lot, okay most, of my MG character's voice comes from my own personal experiences. I'm not sure if that's good or bad ...

Good luck with your story! :)

C.R. Evers said...

Thanks Rena!

Christina Farley said...

I really like your idea! And I love the journal- so cute! I like to "think" like my character does. Usually I do my "thinking" when I'm running.

C.R. Evers said...

Hi Christina! There's nothing like good physical exercise to get the creative juices flowing, huh?

I tried to pick a journal that looked like something my character would like. :0) So far the journaling has helped!

MG Higgins said...

Love the journal idea! My best method for getting into my characters' heads is writing dialog. I find their voices reveal themselves the most when they're talking. (Which is actually very similar to journaling.)

C.R. Evers said...

You're right MG! And dialog is something I tend to struggle with, so I could use all the practice I can get! Thnx!

Anita said...

My voice is sorta instinctual, but I know a lot of people who use music to get into the flow...they listen to different kinds of music before writing for different characters. And I like your journaling idea, too.

C.R. Evers said...

Thanks for stopping by Anita! I've used music to get in the mood for writing, but haven't yet used it specifically for characters before. I'll have to try that sometime.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

I'm with you, Christy-getting the voice right can be tough. I write and write and write about my characters until I get the voice. I'm a huge fan of the journal. Happy writing!

C.R. Evers said...

Thanks Cynthia! It's good to know that you write and write to get the voice too. Makes me think that I'm on the right track.

Becca Puglisi said...

I love the journal idea. I do a lot of questionnaires and background history on my characters which gives you lots of information on who they are, but none of it tells you how they sound. The journal is a great way to do that. I'm going to give it a try.

Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

Liz Hellebuyck said...

I wrote a prequel once. I thought it would help me to get to know the male lead better, but I am still struggling with him.

I think that if you have a strong character voice with you already, writing a journal for them sounds like a great idea.

I have also thought about starting a blog for one of my characters. I may still.