Thursday, August 20, 2009

Characters with character

The toughest thing, for me, in the early stages of this novel is making sure that my characters aren't cardboard cutouts. I know that making them dynamic is a process that goes throughout the whole book, but some characters have to be static, and some have to be dynamic.

What I'm struggling with today is 'Would this guy actually say that?' or 'How on earth would this guy say that?' I don't want all of my characters to sound like they're using the same voice, so this has been a difficult juggling act for me at times. I know who I want to go where and say what while they're going there, but how subtle does that character's voice change as he gets moving in the right direction?

Sure, this is the tough part, but it's also the fun part, too. Just like anybody, I want to see my characters grow throughout a book - especially one that's coming out of my head.

The most helpful thing I've found in this situation is to not force the character's voice into bulky, awkward dialogue. Instead, I listen to what the characters are telling me in my head. ('NO! I wouldn't say that!' or 'Yeah, that's the ticket.')

This was just a little break from the progress, so I'd best get back to work.

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