Wednesday, 26 January 2011

V is for Voice

Finding the voice of a character can be a daunting prospect at the start of writing a novel for any new and aspiring author.

I didn’t give it much thought when I started writing my book but as my novel has developed and progressed I am getting a much stronger sense of who Alicia is, my leading lady. And how my others characters have grown into stronger images. I can hear their voices in my head. And no I’m not going round the bend, lol, well hopefully not!

The more I write about them and their lives the easier it is to hear and see when something they say or do is does not suit or fit the character. However, I am very lucky. I have a couple of men critiquing my work (as part of a writing group). This is hugely helpful to me because they can and will identify when I give a male character a female trait. Useful to know before I get anywhere near a publisher! So I have found their feedback invaluable.

I try to keep the conversation between characters short and snappy. I fond this works best for me. Dialogue spoken by my characters, makes more sense of each character and brings them to life for me making them real. And I have two ambitions:

Firstly, that my dialogue moves the plot or action forward.

Secondly, I want to make the voice recognisable, almost as if the reader has engaged in a telephone conversation with a familiar friend.

Did I mention - I am ambitious!

The only other aspect of dialogue that I need to keep in mind and learn to use is this: try not to not forget to anchor the conversation in a situation or setting, which can be recognised.

Wish me luck.

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