Voices

Yes, voices, we all hear them in our head as our brains process past, present and future thoughts or actions.

As I was watching my new fav tv programme with it’s fabulous plots and characters it got me thinking about voices. What was it about their voices that drew me in to them so that I cared or didn’t care about them?

Some programmes do that, the character’s voice can determine whether I like or dislike them. The character has been given the script and is directed on how to deliver the words to make that impact on the viewer.

So, how does that work when reading a novel? I only have the clues in the written word, to determine how the character sounds in my head. As a writer, I need to know how I want my characters to sound in the reader’s head. I guess it comes down to knowing my characters inside out. What tone and words they would use in any given situation.

The best novels are those that you carry in your head even when you’re not reading. Is that plot or character or voice?

Sometimes a character’s voice will grate making it easy to prejudge, which of course is often the writer’s intention. However, a character needs to develop, and the clues to the voice need to be elsewhere in the story. The reader needs to hear that voice to determine whether to invest time in getting to know a character.

 The skill of the written word is to capture the character’s voice on paper even when they’re not speaking.

I’m still working on it.

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