Monday, August 5, 2013
Losing Your Voice
In writing, voice is a GOOD thing, right? I know it is. And I am fairly confident I have a distinctive one—there is a me-ness to what I write that I don't even try for. When it's MISSING I don't do quite as well... in fact I'm thinking a lack of me might be one of Kahlotus Disposal Site's challenges... I need to get a little more of my voice in that book.
But right now I have a DIFFERENT sort of challenge.
For my serial, I have several Point-of-View characters... and see... if they all sound a little like ME, that's a problem because I DON'T want them to sound like each other.
But if all my characters are smart and ethical with a little humor... you can see what the trouble is, I imagine. Giving them different jobs and areas of expertise isn't enough. Giving them different quirks or neuroses isn't quite covering it...
Maybe I need a more complex character sketch for each of them... that might do it.
But I thought I'd ask all of YOU—how do you keep your voices distinct from each other?
A freelance reporter from Portland, Oregon (raised in the midwest, transplanted in Oregon for college). She is smart, a little introverted. Worried about her brother (who works at the CDC in Atlanta) and outraged at what's going on. She is also intimidated by this giant task she's facing.
Sid's roommate and longtime friend. A nurse who is a bit of a feminist, disapproves of swearing, is excellent in a crisis, but then typically has to have a mini-breakdown after. She's engaged and her finance also lives with them.
A Tulane law student and daughter of a senator from Georgia. She doesn't like to make waves—has always been in the political spotlight and so lives as if she's always being watched, which she is. Very classy.
And just writing that out, I think I've spotted one of the things I need to do... I am going to give Sarah some more spunk... nurses are often a little sassy—it helps them tell people what to do and keep order when people can be ornery. And taking HER from the middle ground between Sid and Dorene to an outlier who is just a little wild allows the distinctions between Sid and Dorene to stand out, too—because THOSE TWO are pretty different.
You people are really good at this therapy thing!!!