Writing Voice

writing voice WDI really like to read. Not only fiction, but all things on writing. Ask anyone, especially fellow writer, Delilah Jones Brown. I have nearly every book on writing! I’m a junkie! Some books are okay, some basic, some are outstanding. I just read one of the latter ones. Writing Voice: The Complete Guide to Creating a Presence on the Page and Engaging Readers (Creative Writing Essentials) by Writer’s Digest. I read another book in the series, Creating Characters: The Complete Guide to Populating Your Fiction (Creative Writing Essentials), and have previously posted on it. I thought that book was a winner as well. The thing I really like about both these books is that the chapters are written by different authors. Everyone learns differently and having all these writers explain writing voice is enjoyable! Some chapters are good, some are amazing! As mentioned several times in this book, understanding voice is elusive. This book really helps you to understand what it is that you are trying to achieve. It’s not as hard as it seems!

It’s more than just voice though, the book also covers POV, tone, style and genres. It explains narrator voice thoroughly. It covers your character’s inner voice: what he thinks is different than what he says. We all have a public face and a private face. So do your characters. There are so many facets to writing effectively. There are plenty of exercises in this book to let you practice what you’re learning too! I have highlighted nearly the whole book and have notes in the margins as I see how these tips relate to certain characters in my own novel.

So you tell me, did you like this post more than prior ones? Did you feel like you knew me as an author a little bit better for it? I followed one of the repeated rules in the book: write fast so your inner voice comes through, not the sterilized, overwritten draft! This book needs to be on your to-read list!

#amwriting, #delilah-jones-brown, #writers-digest, #writing-voice

About those other characters

I’ve been reading a great book, Creating Characters, by Writer’s Digest. There are many things I’m taking away from this but I got a big boost to my novel when I started focusing on the other characters. You know who I’m talking about. Those people who support the main character: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m only half way through this book but I’ve got to share some great tips for those other characters.

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EVERY character should have good qualities. Even the bad guys. At the same time, every character, including your protagonist, has flaws. This blend of good and bad is human. Doesn’t sound right? You want your reader to hate your antagonist? Think again! Your antagonist doesn’t consider herself the bad guy. Typical bad guys are boring. (yawn) But a well-crafted antagonist, with her own goals, ideas, and qualities, draws your reader in. They become invested in the story. How is this going to pan out? Give your antag a voice, a POV. Ok, the antag can cheat, steal, lie, or maybe she just made a very bad decision. The point is, she needs to be relatable. My protag is an anti-hero so she’s got some pretty bad qualities herself!

EVERY character is the star of their own world, not just co-stars to your MC. Examine your characters. What has shaped them? Who has shaped them? Why are they the way they are? Why is that character an alcoholic? An introvert? Obnoxious? It’s not just one thing, but a chain of things that got the character to this point in their lives. i.e.- He’s an alcoholic because his wife left him, because he was never home, because he was obsessed with his job, because his father was a bum and he’s determined not be his father, etc, etc, etc. Keep digging at the cause of each link. You don’t have to have a huge backstory but if you understand the fundamentals of the things that have shaped your character, the better prepared you will be to write about him in every scene. You will be able to add color, desire, disappointment, passion, goals, SECRETS.

Ok, that’s enough on those other characters for now. Want to read more? Get the book! Creating Characters by Writer’s Digest.

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Coming soon… more about the antihero!

 

#character-building, #character-voice, #creating-characters, #understanding-your-characters, #writers-digest, #writing