Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Developing a character's voice...

A character’s voice should be found from the inside out, not the outside in. Meaning that characters are created through a writer’s willingness to dive into doing their homework and truly bringing a character to life. You can read my article on character development to see how I approach breathing life into a character. The process is simple, and the results are profound if you’re willing to do the work. The overall intention is not to impose your own voice onto your characters, but to unveil their own voices as a sculptor would reveal a form by removing clay from a mound. Your characters are ultimately like your children. The goal is to raise them well and spend time teaching them about the world so that ultimately you can let them go and trust them to make their own decisions. We have to trust our characters and let them fall on their faces as they navigate our stories. If we have built them correctly they will have fears, desires and agendas of their own that they will fight for on every page. That is their voice. When you have found it—uncovered it—it will flow through you. You will only be a conduit putting words to paper.

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