Reply To: Character Voice

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Character Voice Reply To: Character Voice



*cracks knuckles and plops down in chair*

Alrighty!  So what has been helping me out a lot lately with character voice is to write ‘character sketches’.  So far, I’ve done it for two writing projects (a novel and a short story) and it’s been pretty helpful (though, future methods may change/vary depending on the project.)

So, I tend to write two types of sketches: first is an ‘external portrait’, the second is ‘internal’.  The first is where I take my character and put them in a scene and write about how they react or interact with their surroundings.  I completely leave out what they’re thinking or feeling.  I pretend I’m an observer writing down the actions that I see.  Then when I’m done, I go back and work on an ‘internal’ portrait.  I look at their actions and imagine what their internal processes are like.  I write it more as an inner monologue (like, the character is in their bedroom reflecting on what happened that day.)  Don’t worry, you don’t have to go overboard.  I’ve found a couple hundred words for each sketch have been enough to get an idea of my character’s personality and voice.

There have been times where I didn’t write a character sketch; instead, a striking/unusual/expressive photo of a person would suddenly spark my imagination for a character’s voice.

As for metaphors and similes… um, I’m not really good at coming up with them on the spot *haha*.  I tend to take my time with those (often when I’m going through the next several drafts of my project, I work on incorporating better ones.)  If it helps, keep a small notebook (pocket-sized) on hand to jot down anything that comes to mind like random descriptions.  Then later, you could try working it into a metaphor or simile.

I think that’s about it.  I hope it was helpful!  🙂

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

Pin It on Pinterest