Thursday, October 7, 2010

You've Got Syle, Baby

I’m back in school and working on the last of my degree. I hope to be finished by the end of this year of school. (Oh please, please. *fingers crossed*)

I‘m also in the middle of revising my dystopian TORN.

Plus, I post here on my blog. Which I love.  (Love ya blogger buddies!)

The funny thing is…when I write—in my book, for my school projects, on my blog—my tone of writing changes. Yup, my voice changes.

I try to be articulate when I write for school, making sure every word sounds elaborate and knowledgeable. (For example: “The obscure editorial's statistics do not calculate in favor of variation. Therefore, I conclude that it does not work.”)

When I’m writing in my book, I put myself in my character’s head, writing only words and thoughts that she would say. (Like, “Her voice was sweet. Too sweet. And she blinked at him way too many times for her eyeballs to be moistened.” She's a little jealous.)

On my blog, I write in more of myself. I like fun light things, so that’s how I write. (Plus I always add in a little random thought here and there, which sometimes makes no sense at all. But I can do it, because I’m a writer—at least that’s my excuse.)

See? My writing style changes.

I think as writers, when we are looking  more than one character in our wip, we need to look at the style and voice we want to give them. Because no two people are alike, neither are our characters or their circumstances. They talk differently, they act differently. That’s how you can differentiate them and give them style. 

What do you do to make your characters’ voices and style different?

p.s. Thanks Carolyn A (her name totally rocks!) for the awesome Strangely Irresistible ~ Yo Gabba Gabba award! I love it. I will pass it on, hopefully soon. =D


Quinn said...

One character of mine was inspired by Allison Iraheta from American Idol; so, when I was writing scenes with her, I would listen to Allison's music.

Another character was a woman who had fled from her home in Africa and then grew up in London. As someone who had been through a lot, I thought her voice would reflect that. She only speaks in proper English. Never uses contractions and always sounds educated.

I guess I just try to figure out who they are and that influences their voice.

Quinn said...

The second character I described was actually a child when she fled Africa. Then, the reason she sounds educated is that I figured she would have thrown herself into her studies as a means of not dealing with the world, but also in an attempt to be in a position later so she could make a difference.

N. R. Williams said...

Character's voice, what a fun subject. In my epic fantasy, my heroine is a modern we know what kind of slang she might use...whatever. She is thrust through a portal into a French speaking medieval world. Confuses several of those characters when she refers to the villain as 'that guy,' and generally stands out because of their more eloquent way of speaking. It was loads of fun to write.
Everyone is invited to my blog Halloween party.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Lynda Young said...

Style and voice are both difficult to sometimes pinpoint, but essential at the same time. Trying to see the world through the character is the best way to do this. It's good to explore Character interviews, history, motivations, education.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

What great examples of voice and style! Love it!

This is harder than it looks. I'm always trying to perfect how to change the dialogue to reflect certain characters. Not an easy task.

Dawn said...

I was just thinking of this the other day when trying to re-enter the "zone" for my protagonist in my current WIP after finishing off the last book. They are so very different and my voice HAS to be different. I give them each key phrases, and the writing for each book has a different cadence. Also, the genres are different, which makes it easier to flip voices. I have discovered, though, that I can not work on both at once :-(

Jude said...

ooh a dystopian! Sounds fun :D

And yea I sound different depending on what I'm writing too. I wish I could just be myself all the time though because at times it seems like I have to put on an act, and I hate hate hate that. Sigh.

lotusgirl said...

I do the same thing. It depends on what I'm writing for. I also try to get in my character's head and say only things she would say.

MT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MT said...

Mine changes too, but I hadn't thought too much about it. It's sort of like wearing different clothes for different occasions.
Have a great weekend!

Talei said...

Hi Carolyn, I have an award at my blog for you ;)) Please pop by when you can. ;))

Murr Brewster said...

Heck, I have a hard enough time just making sure all my characters aren't me.

Husain Vahanvaty aka Keebler said...

Its is so insanely frustrating trying to develope an interesting dynamic character. Especially one that you want to portray to be a little insane. Inject a little bit of humane madness into the literally word.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I start off with real people for my characters, usually former students. This helps me to see them as unique individuals even though they end up being much different than the real people I used to ignite their existence.