Character Voice – Research by Aurora Jean Alexander

Picture courtesy of: https://gigaom.com/2014/04/05/why-voice-is-the-next-big-internet-wave/
Picture courtesy of: https://gigaom.com/2014/04/05/why-voice-is-the-next-big-internet-wave/

 


A couple of months ago, visiting a successful and experienced writer friend he told me, he read one of my pieces. I still am honored and flattered he took the time. He has an amazing way of complimenting and encouraging me – but also bringing on constructive criticism which I apparently deserved. Just this time I had no idea what he meant when he told me: “You have only one character voice.”

 

— ?? —

 

I was a little shocked. Not that I didn’t believe him, I just couldn’t believe it.

 

He is a wonderful mentor and of course took the time to explain to me what he was talking about:

 

All of my characters talk the same way. I frowned. I know my characters in and out, I know their looks, their abilities, their character, and personalities, whenever I write about them I can nearly hear their voices in my head – and still, they all talk the same?

 

After my visit I went back to the piece he was talking about – and I wasn’t half through I thought I understood now what he was talking about.

 

Now: What do I need to do to change that?

 

I do what I always do in such a case: RESEARCH…

 

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On “Now Novel” I found an interesting and very helpful article which helped me define the problem I apparently have: “Talking about your Character: Voice.”

 

  • What is character voice?
  • Thinking about dialogue
  • Separating character voice and author voice
  • How to develop the voices of your characters

 

In four different chapters, the article not only defines my problem but offers a helpful and informative solution. It’s easy to read and explained in a simple and understandable way.

 

 

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On Joe Moore’s “The Kill Zone” blog I read an article, written by Jordan Dane: Five Key Ways to Create a Character’s Distinct Voice

 

Jordan offers the following, excellently explained five ways to create a character’s voice:

 

  • Word Choices
  • Confidence Level
  • Quirks/Mannerism
  • Internal/External Voice
  • Metaphors/Similes/Comparisons

 

Each one of them is explained in details and is logical and, as I think, easy to learn. We’ll see.

 *****

As a bonus, Jordan offers a link to a New York Times online test, which of course I took. And this is my result: Look at that… according to this test I’m a Southern Girl. 😀

 aj_blog_post_voice2

 

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“The Editor’s Blog” offers a variety of advice in making the voices of characters sound different. I found this blog post interesting and helpful as well. Variety in Character Voices

 

  • Use different words
  • Use different sentence patterns
  • Add humor to one character
  • Cut of speech or thought
  • Let a character ramble
  • Have characters pay attention to different things

 

The article is short, simple and precise. I think it’s adding to my learning in this matter.

 

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The “NY Book Editors” blog provides us with another interesting article with six excellent tips: Character Development: How to Create a Consistent Voice

 

  • Create a Backstory for Each Character
  • Do a Character Study
  • Hone Their Internal Dialogue
  • Research How People Speak Naturally
  • Focus on Authentic Dialogue
  • Interview the character

 

Each of the tips includes a further explanation as well as an exercise, which I consider very helpful and I’m looking forward to learning more by doing them.

 

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The “Writability”-blog delivers us an excellent definition of the “character’s voice” by giving us examples and makes us feel how important the different character voices are for our writing.

 

The article can be read here: http://avajae.blogspot.com/2011/09/defining-character-voice.html

 

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Jackie Cangro has published a blog post on “The Writer’s Block” blog, providing us with the seven elements of our “character’s voice”:

 

  • Style
  • Tone
  • Personality
  • Perspective
  • Authenticity
  • Consistency
  • Originality

 

She defines each of the elements in details and delivers descriptions which are easy to follow. I very much appreciate the easy read and learn-part of this blog post. The entire post can be found here:

https://writersblock.loft.org/2013/08/14/2641/finding_your_characters_voice

 

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K.M. Weiland has published a video post on her blog “Helping Writers become Authors.” It’s easy to follow and very educational.

 

“How to find your character’s voice” not only shows us the video but also delivers us the video transcript and help us understand the difference between authorial and character voices.

 

It helped me a lot to enter this topic and understand the basics.

 

The transcript and video can be found here: http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/how-to-find-your-characters-voice/

 

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On the “Gizmodo”-Blog I found a post, written by Charlie Jane Anders  “All Your Characters Talk The Same — And They’re Not A Hivemind!”

 

This article too is very educational and gives us eight tips and hints to play with our character voices. Each of the tips comes with a detailed explanation and helps us develop our characters:

 

  • Listen to how people talk
  • Try to “hear” your characters’ individual voices
  • Realize your characters are not talking to you, or directly to the reader
  • Try giving each character a few unique verbal tics, or habitual words
  • Go one step further, and give them catch phrases and stuff
  • Realize that you may have, at most, three or four characters “voices” and refine those
  • Vary your sentence lengths, and play with punctuation
  • Adjust the French/Anglo-Saxon mix

 

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Each of this articles and blog posts has helped me a lot to get at least an idea on how to do better and give each of my characters an individual voice instead of them sounding like me.

 

But most of all I owe my writer friend a HUGE Thank you! He was the reason I started thinking about a problem I didn’t know I have! Thank you, Jim Spencer.

Let Me Show YOU How To Use Internet Radio – Guest Post…

On The Story Reading Ape’s blog I found a guest post today, written by author Annette Rochelle Aben in which she informs us how to use internet radio. Thank you for this very helpful article, Annette!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

31948784 - abstract radio antenna tower icon isolated on white background. wireless communication technology concept.Image Licensed from 123RF Stock Photo Copyright: farakos

Greetings!  I am Annette Rochelle Aben and in addition to writing and publishing books, I am also an internet radio show host.

That’s right, you can visit my network The PerspectivePower on BlogTalkRadio and enjoy my podcasts right this very moment!

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Oh, and I do suggest that you FOLLOW the network, so you can stay current with my programs.

 So, how did I come to start The Perspectivepower Radio Network?

Back in 2009, I wrote a book called: Perspective, it’s all about replacing one thought with another (available through my Author Central Page on Amazon) and I wanted to get some free marketing.

Now, I don’t remember how, but I had heard about Blog Talk Radio and thought, as I had a radio background already, that I would investigate. I was so glad that I did.

 Found out…

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…Glen R. Stansfield shows how Authors often don’t ‘see themselves as others see them’…

Seumas Gallacher introduces author Glen R. Stansfield who has an important message to deliver. Thank you, Glen.

Seumas Gallacher

…one of my Author ‘besties’here in the Middle East is actually a terrific hat with a writer underneath it… Glen R. Stansfield, the man who drove on a motorbike more than 200 miles in the early hours to join a ‘croissants and coffee with author friends’ morning with me in Manchester recently, and he lives just down the road from me in Bahrain…go figure… who says scribblers aren’t part-crazy?… here’s an insightful offering in the form of his Guest Post… enjoy…

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As a child I was quite shy. In the sixth-form at school I shunned the common room because there were people there I didn’t know, and girls…especially girls. Even after leaving school I retained this shyness, despite being the lead singer and playing lead guitar in a band. When did you last see a lead anybody try to keep out of the limelight on a stage? (Actually…

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The Single Largest Secret to Success

Kristen Lamb’s Single largest secret to success.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Steve Snodgrass Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Steve Snodgrass

All of us start out writing for different reasons. Perhaps we have dreams of seeing New York Times Best Seller or USA Today Best Seller in front of our names. Perhaps we long to be a household name like Stephen King or even a legend like J.K Rowling.

Some of you might want to see Winner of the Pulitzer Prize on the cover of your books or see your books made into television or major motion pictures. Some writers simply want to finish that one novel and publish it so they can say they wrote a novel.

Every dream is equally noble. There are no right or wrong goals only your goals (and goals evolve as we do). Yet, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that the level of sacrifice and self-discipline required to Write a Novel in…

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How to Use the Holidays to Sell More Books

Great advice from Nicholas Rossis! Use it to sell more books, authors. Thank you very much, Nicholas.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Written word media recently published a great post with ideas on how to take advantage of holiday marketing trends to sell your books. With Christmas fast approaching, I figured this is a great time to have a look at the main points:

1. Between mid-November and early January, everyone loves to shop

From early November through early January, everyone is in a buying mood, so this is the perfect time to sell more books. Here are a few noteworthy dates within this range that are significant online shopping days, with ideas on what tactics and messages will resonate with customers:

When to promote during the holidays | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Info by Written World Media

Amazon | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Image: dailyfinance.com

2. Focus on Amazon

Focus on Amazon – over half the shoppers will use it for their holiday shopping. Emphasize links to your books on Amazon. Your prospective customers will already be shopping on Amazon, so make it easy for them to…

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Advice for Writers from a Reader Who Loves to Support Writers: Guest Chris Graham (TSRA)

Our Furry Friend, Chris Graham, The Story Reading Ape, who supports us authors in a generous way, has published a guest blog on Rachel Ritchey’s blog. This is definitely worth reading. Thank you, Chris and Rachel!

tsra-logo-300x300

Rachael Ritchey

Hey all! Happy day! I’m so excited to introduce to you (and you to) Chris Graham aka The Story Reading Ape as a guest on the blog. Chris is a super supporter of authors and if you haven’t you’d do well to swing over and follow his blog. Chris offers so many free services to authors as well as helping with book design. He’s encouraging and helpful, scowering the world of blogs for worthwhile information to share too. I appreciate his hard work and his dedication, not to mention his insights. And today he’s here to answer some questions and offer some helpful advice.

Thanks for coming over Chris!


Chris Graham, Guest to the blog:

My thanks to Rachael for her kind offer to post an article from me – also for the challenge she set me for the topic:

  • From a reader standpoint, offer some advice, maybe something…

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Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving is traditionally a day to say grace, to be grateful, to say ‘Thank you’ for the blessings. And again, this year that’s what I’d like to do.

I’m saying thanks for:

  • … my family and friends
  • … my chance to do what I love doing
  • … my luck to have food on the table every single day
  • … my writer friends
  • … my supporters here in the writing world
  • … my progress in writing
  • … my finished novella
  • … my ideas for future novellas in the series
  • … my blog
  • … and every single follower, reader and commenter on here who makes this blog such a wonderful journey for me.

 

THANK YOU ALL!!

 


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Picture courtesy of http://www.google.com

Copyright Infringement, 403 pirated book offers blasted.

Diana Wallace Peach gives us an excellent advice on “Blasty” and how to use this service. Thank you so much!

Myths of the Mirror

captain-hook-1385541_960_720

“It only takes one click to copy and republish a creator’s original content without his permission.” – Blasty

Back in July, Debby of dgkayewriter and Damyanti of Damyanti-writes both mentioned a new online service called Blasty.

Blasty allows writers to sign up their books, and then continually monitors Google for infringing copies of content. Each suspect link is flagged to the writer’s dashboard, and the writer is given the opportunity to “blast” (eradicate) the link from Google with a simple click! No paperwork, no cease and desist notifications, no time-consuming and frustrating dealings with pirates.

Intrigued, I signed up. In four months, I’ve blasted 403 copyright infringements on 8 books.

Per Blasty: “Each time you click on “Blast,” a copyright removal procedure under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) is automatically initiated, resulting in the complete elimination of the infringing webpage  from Google on a worldwide basis. Since Blasty has been approved…

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Embedding Your Fonts for Paperback Books

Jo Robinson from LitWorldInterviews posted a very useful articles on how to use different fonts for paperback books on Create Space. Thank you very much Jo!

Lit World Interviews

There are lots of fabulous fonts around these days for us to use in our paperback books, and I think that making them visually attractive as well as wonderful to read is a great idea. Using a plain font for most of the body text is best, but there is no reason not to create great looking chapter headings, or using old typewriter fonts to make letters or notes stand out in your stories. Some fonts are made by hobbyists and offered online free for use commercially so it’s always necessary to check that they are embedded in your manuscript when you load it up to CreateSpace or any other POD system.

embed-font
CreateSpace says,

“In order to print your book, our printing presses need information about how to properly render the fonts used in your file. Information about fonts is not always included in documents by default, and you may…

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Lonely

The sun shines warm, the birds are singing,

normally I’d smile, my mood be swinging.

Any moment now the feeling should start

But all I hear is the breaking of my lonely heart.

**

I feel so sad, hanging on a chain

of darkness and misery being hurt all over again.

I’m waiting for freedom of sadness and fears

but all I’m doing is drowning in tears.

**

Being in pain from repeated falls

I feel like prisoner of a hole with high walls.

No way to escape, no chance to climb

my prison was built with blood, pain and time.

**

No chance to free me and nowhere to go

and my hope is dying, that’s all I know.

Yearning for closeness for love and for care

all I got was pain – how could I dare?

**

Instead of an apology I got pain

and what should I say? It was done – again.

I’m asking myself if that’s a new trend

for someone who called himself “friend”.

*****

(Copyright Aurora Jean Alexander, November 2016)


Picture courtesy of: www.google.com
Picture courtesy of: http://www.google.com