Can your reader recognize your character’s voice?

voiceOur voice is as much a part of who we are as is the shape of our face. It’s an aspect of our physical being that people come to recognize about us as they get to know us.

My dad was a traveling salesman in the days before caller ID, cell phones, and the Internet. He called home during his trips to make sure all was well. If our mom answered the phone, my dad had no problem recognizing her voice. If either of my two brothers answered, still no problem.

But…if my sister or I answered the phone, my dad often could not recognize our voice. After a sentence or two, he figured out who was speaking or he asked. You see, my sister and I are twins, and even though we aren’t identical, our voices come close.

Just as we—as writers and as individuals—have a recognizable voice, the characters in our novels have voices, too. And they shouldn’t sound like you or like every other character in your novel.

Though the reader doesn’t hear voice in the usual sense, the reader can recognize it through [Read more…]

Get Rid of Superfluous Characters

people arguingIn his book The Art of War for Writers, James Scott Bell says,

[E]very character in every scene must have an objective, otherwise he shouldn’t be there. Replace him with a chair.

Review your WIP. If you find a character(s) who is superfluous? Do as Bell suggests, rewrite the scene and cut the character.

Now reread the scene. Is it stronger, weaker, mediocre? Revise until you are satisfied. It may mean putting the character back in, but do that only after you’ve determined his/her objective.

Snag a Publisher!

Looking for a publisher? Then be sure to get 5 Tips to Snag a Publisher with Your Manuscript Submission. Sign up below for your free download.

Get Published!

Looking for a publisher? Then be sure to get 5 Things Every Writer Needs to Do When Submitting a Manuscript (make sure you avoid these common mistakes). Sign up below for your free download.
%d bloggers like this: