April 10, 2021 at 3:40 pm #129746
I found a version of this questionnaire online and expanded it a bit, I thought this might be useful for y’all!
What’s your character’s education? Do they speak formally, or casually? Does their time period influence how they speak?
Are they sharp or slow? Are they analytical or intuitive? Are they more focused on how people feel about the problem or about solving the problem?
How worldly or naive is the character? Is the character honest or deceptive? Is the character straightforward or do they dart around the truth? Do they have any past trauma that influences how they see the world? How much life experience do they have? (This is also where your character’s lie would fit in. Personally, I do think the lie influences their voice, because it influences their worldview.)
Extrovert or introvert
Is the character’s focus internal or external? Are they cynical or hopeful about people? Do they like spending time with people?
Sense of humor or seriousness
Does the character take themselves and the situation seriously? Are they uptight or relaxed?
Long sentences or short ones
Are their thought processes detailed or crisp? How observant are they? Are they dreamy or do they have both feet on the ground? Do they connect things and think in metaphors, or do they stick to the facts?
Impulsive or Logical
Is the character impulsive or logical? (This one doesn’t need any further explanation. XD)
How a character makes decisions
Is the character self-focused or selfless? Does the character focus on the big picture, taking all the consequences into consideration, or do they focus on immediate realities?
What character observes first
Do they have any hobbies that influence the way they see things? E.g. Photographers notice lighting and angles, artists notice shape and color, people who garden notice flowers, etc., etc.
Are they alert, noticing their surroundings and checking for danger, or are they dreamy and lost in their own world? Are they cynical or positive?
I added in a few sub-questions in each one, to make it a little clearer and more detailed, but you don’t need to fill it all out. These are just different aspects of character voice you could take into consideration.
Some people say that character voices are constant, like a part of their personality, but I don’t agree. Character voice is linked to worldview, which often changes with character arcs, so I’d say a character’s voice also develops.
My MC, Liorah, grows much more cynical and alert after the first book, but she also becomes more focused on other people. In this way, character voices can change, showing their development.
I’ve also found this really useful for multiple POVs. I have two alternating POVs in the second book, and I’ve managed to work in some key differences in the character voices that make them easier to distinguish. Liorah has a very crisp, businesslike voice. Faye is dreamy, uses a lot of similes and metaphors, and notices a lot of details.
Faye might say: “The mist crept over the mountain like a soft, velvety blanket, wrapping the rocky slopes in layers of feathery wisps.”
While Liorah would say: “A thick mist surrounded us. Why was it even this cold? It was almost summer, and it wasn’t supposed to be this freezing.”
They’re describing the same thing, but their focuses are very different.
Feel free to post your answers! I’d love to see what y’all think of this!
- This topic was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by Rose.
"Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of DespereauxApril 10, 2021 at 4:29 pm #129756
This is super cool, thanks!
"If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth ElliottApril 11, 2021 at 6:20 am #129918Taylor Clogston@taylorclogston
This is a great questionnaire, thanks for sharing!
"...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and MargaritaApril 13, 2021 at 3:09 pm #130855April 13, 2021 at 4:01 pm #130884
@rose-colored-fancy It totally is! (Btw I love your profile pic)
"If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth ElliottApril 13, 2021 at 5:00 pm #130900Arindown (Gracie)@arindown
@rose-colored-fancy This is so cool, Rose. I’ll have to post and tell ya’ll a little about my character voices sometime.😄
Not all who wander are lost.April 14, 2021 at 3:26 am #131128April 14, 2021 at 7:23 am #131173
@rose-colored-fancy it’s really good!
"If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth ElliottApril 14, 2021 at 10:04 am #131226
Thanks, that’s so sweet!
"Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of DespereauxApril 15, 2021 at 1:12 pm #131734Arindown (Gracie)@arindown
I just recently realized how important character voice is, so I’ve been revamping some of my stories to make characters more distinct. At the moment, my favorite is in one of my YA adventure fantasy stories.
The story is from Kait’s POV. She’s emotional, naive, and very reserved. I think my favorite thing about her voice is that she has an a very sarcastic sense of humour, but only in her thoughts. She never says it out-loud.
One of the other characters, Erik, has one of the most fun character voices to write. He’s logical, doesn’t take anything seriously, well-traveled, and really out-going.
It’s so much fun writing the two of them interacting. Erik is eternally optimistic, and a little pushy, and Kait is a hardcore pessimist, trying to remain calm, but still sassing at him inside her head.😂
@rose-colored-fancy I love the difference you put into Faye and Liorah’s voices. It’s so distinct.
Not all who wander are lost.April 22, 2021 at 5:57 am #133140
I love the difference you put into Faye and Liorah’s voices. It’s so distinct.
Thank you! I decided to write both in first person, so I tried to make it distinct XD
Your characters sound like they have awesome voices! I love sarcastic characters! *Coughcough* Liorah.
And a character that is both logical and still doesn’t take stuff seriously sounds like so much fun!
"Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux
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