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Topic: Finding A Character's Voice

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Subject: Finding A Character's Voice
Date Posted: 9/21/2007 12:23 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2007
Posts: 4
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Hello Everyone,

Although I've self-published a non-fiction Christian book earlier this year, I'm venturing into the realm of fiction.  There are several characters that I've begun to bubble about which has helped me to begin a first draft.  Anyone have any ideas about exercises I can use that will guide me to each character's voice and personality?


Date Posted: 9/26/2007 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2006
Posts: 3,392
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Some people like to use a character profile form of some sort. You can find many already designed online or make your own.

Here's a link to give you an example: http://www.suite101.com/lesson.cfm/17744/1092/3

Some are better than others, so you may want to do some googling. They seem lame and boring, but one of the questions may get your imagination going and point you in the right direction for that character.

I usually just start writing a summary of the character and get some of the basics about them. Then as I think about them and write them in scenes, I learn more about them.

I would suggest just that you just start writing them into scenes and see who they become.


Date Posted: 9/28/2007 4:24 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Do an interview with the character.

Date Posted: 10/5/2007 12:00 AM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2006
Posts: 53
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The characters do start to talk to you - then bug you incessantly. Mine still haven't shut up, and I haven't worked on anything in a few months :p.

What works for me is doing a brief bio/history, then asking questions, similar to manny's interview:

What are they afraid of?

Do they have a favorite food?

What do they do for fun?


Have fun!



Date Posted: 11/9/2007 9:56 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 305
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I have found that if I just start writing that my characters reveal themselves.  I also write down specifics about the character as I go along and learn more about them.  This way I have something to come back to later on so that I don't forget important details such as their birthday. 

Even if you aren't big into astrology, knowing the persons sign is somewhat helpful.  It will give basic ideas as to what the character is "supposed to" be like.  If the character is a very outspoken, non-stop talker then it would not fit to give them a birthday that would place them in a zodiac sign that is quiet and reserved.  Of course this will only matter if the characters birthday is ever going to come out in the book.  In the series that I'm working on, some characters birthdays will be revealed but others will not.

Date Posted: 11/9/2007 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
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I've read a lot of books on personalities.  "personality plus" by Florence littauer, "positive personality profiles" and Gary Smalley also has one.   The basic personality of a character gives me a framework to work from.  I am doing Nanowrimo and I find that my characters have developed and react based upon their given personalities.