*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