Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Voices of My Characters

I learn so much by regularly reading numerous great writers blogs. I have a huge file of writing exercises and tips. One I read religiously is Teaching Authors--Six Children's Book Authors Who Also Teach Writing. A recent posting by Mary Ann Rodman: Wrestling with Voice struck a chord with me. In this posting, the necessity of each character having his/her distinctive voice was addressed. After reading it, I went back to my writing with a more critical eye. I think some of my characters’ voices need work. The best thing about these postings is they often have exercises to use to improve my writing. So I am once again revising!
This paragraph by Ms. Rodman truly spoke to me:

“My characters live in my head for years and years before I get around to bringing them to life. I keep notebooks, computer files and file folders on future characters, as they "share" with me such diverse information as their favorite baseball player, what their side of a shared dresser top looks like, how they feel about various family members. Sometimes I learn more about my characters through the writing process, but I would never presume to tell their stories without having at least a working knowledge of them.”

I too have characters dancing around in my head!


Cathy said...

That's interesting you have characters dancing in your head. I believe that might be the equivalent of a musician having a musical theme in their head, or a tune, or even an entire orchestral piece in their head. Complex, yes, but that is the way it is with artists, being musicians, painters, writers, etc.

Beth Mithen said...

In other words, musicians and writers need quirky minds?

Cathy said...

Quirky as all get out!! I can have tunes running throughout my head with a full orchestra in the background. The brain is an awesome complex animal!