Thursday, November 15, 2007

Character Voice

In writing circles, you hear a lot about making sure your characters have their own unique voice. I'm sure a lot of beginning writers really wonder what that is. I know I did. I'm beginning to discover exactly what it is.

I'm focusing on A Time For War right now. It opens in 1894 and the main characters for the first part of the book are Sergei and Tatiana. Sergei is really coming to life. His family is rather wealthy, and most of their money has come from trade and shipping. He manages the business and travels a lot checking up on things.

His voice is very unique. He stays immersed in the worlds of shipping and banking ALL THE TIME. So that's how he thinks. Everything is thought of in terms of profits and loss, cargo and shipping, etc. When he thinks or makes comparisons, the things that he uses for reference all have to do with what he does for a living. To me, this is the core of what a character's voice is.

Sometimes it can take awhile to find that voice. I know it has for Sergei. He's lived in my head for many years, but only in the last 6 months have his thought patterns become clear to me. It's making him a better character and it's making me a better writer.

I think I'm catching a cold. Just FYI there may not be a Friday Fact tomorrow. Depends on how I feel when I wake up and whether or not my brain works.

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