|where, oh where, is the voice coming from?|
Editors, agents and authors are always talking about that illusive VOICE - the voice of our characters, the author's voice, the novel's voice. But where does voice come from? And how can we find it? How can we tackle it? How can we finesse it and make it true?
While I am sorry to say I don't have the magic answers to these tough questions. What I do have however, is a handout of voice-finding exercises that includes a character questionnaire that I find has helped many authors focus in on and reveal voice of their characters and the voice of their stories.
Have you ever interviewed your characters? I mean really sat down with them, just the two (or more!) of you and started asking questions of all kinds? If not, then it's high time you get to it! And if your family and friends look askance and think you may well have finally turned that dangerous corner, pay them no mind! You're doing essential work and talking to your characters (which--aha!--is different from talking to yourself!) is the only way you're going to find your voice as you find out who these characters really are and what they really want.
I usually reserve this handout for authors whom I meet at conferences where I am guiding sessions on craft. But right now and for the next three days until March 1, 2014, I am giving away the handout to anyone who takes the time to follow the instructions on my drydenbks Facebook page. Check it out!