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Okay, voice. How do you do that?

Someone asked me a followup question about last Friday’s post called What I learned reading debut novels, in which I talked about an exercise Miss Snark gave us: spend a year (or a few months, I guess) reading recent debut novels.

I did that, and the only thing they had in common (as far as I could tell) was a strong voice.

There’s more about it at the far end of that link above.

Anyway, someone asked me the question in the subject header, and I surprised myself by having a ready answer. This has been on my mind a lot lately, but I only just then realized what I’d learned. And it’s pretty simple:

Ask yourself how the point of view character and/or the narrator feels about the events of the book, and reflect that in the text in an interesting way.

That’s how I do it, anyway.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
lwe
Aug. 18th, 2015 04:46 pm (UTC)
That's pretty much how I do it, too -- though not just how he feels, but also why.
burger_eater
Aug. 18th, 2015 05:48 pm (UTC)
Huh. I never thought of the whys as an aspect of the voice. That's interesting.
anna_wing
Aug. 19th, 2015 04:35 am (UTC)
Also what the character notices and what they ignore or take for granted, the figures of speech in which their narration or thoughts are expressed, that sort of thing. That's for the individual voice of the character, but it goes for the voice of the narrator too.
burger_eater
Aug. 19th, 2015 03:01 pm (UTC)
Agreed. I think that's all part of my description above.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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Comments

  • 14 Jan 2019, 21:47
    Oh, yeah, excellent point.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 21:46
    Oh yeah. Like the lawyers who get obvious really venal criminals off because it makes their success rate look good. But those are not the ones I am referring to in meaning well. These guys are mixed…
  • 14 Jan 2019, 20:37
    This reminds me of the time my wife was injured and the insurance guy handling her case did everything possible to deny and stall the payment. We had to put her surgery on a credit card because this…
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:24
    The creepiest part is that some of them are actually well meaning.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:08
    Yeah. It's godawful what people will do when they have authority and no fear about using it.
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