January 11th, 2017

  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 12.2: How to Nail Character Voice in First Person

Writing Excuses 12.2: How to Nail Character Voice in First Person

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2017/01/08/12-2-how-to-nail-character-voice-in-first-person/

Key points: A memorable first person voice? Sentence structure, rhythm and accent. Accent is word choices and phrasing, not just dialect. Use first person to showcase characters with an interesting voice, but third person is easier. Use a text-to-speech program to read your writing out loud! Snarky is easy, but show us the thought process, what's behind the face the character shows everyone. What's their attitude, their too factor? First person is good for wordplay. Think about the categories of words your character might use. Be aware that no one is snarky in their own thinking, or has an accent in their own voice.

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[Brandon] I'm going to have to cut it here. It's a great discussion. But we do have some homework that Mary is going to give to us.
[Mary] Right. So, here's your homework. What I want you to do is I want you to write, about a page, maybe two, first person and you've got a character who is trying to accomplish something. If you don't have anything in your head, then I'm going to say that you have a baker, and the baker is attempting to deliver some bagels. Then, I want you to write it again, but this time, your main character is not a baker, and I want you to have them go through the same task. The goal of this is to see how the character's attitude and the way their lens affects the world, affects how they relay the story of this bagel delivery, or whatever it is that you want to do.
[Brandon] Excellent. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.