26 March 2012, Development - Personality and Change of Voice in a Novel
Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
Sometimes (rarely) character voice must change. You may and should change character voice in these circumstances:
1. Development of the character
2. Mental illness
3. Physical or mental effects
5. Seduction (sales)
4. ...there may be more, I'll think of them as I write about the others.
If you haven't gathered, I think characters voice is one of the most important jobs/tools/skills of a writer. A writer develops a character (before the novel is written) and the writer reveals the developed character, plus any change in that character, through the novel. The writer must not tell, he must show. The means of revealing the character is mainly through the character voice. When I write "voice," I hope you have been following along and know I am not writing just about the way a character sounds, but the way the character sounds, acts, speaks, gestures, etc. That is, every word and action goes into defining the character voice. Further, every character in a novel should be discernible simply by the character voice.
Another circumstance where you might see a character's voice change is through personality. I mentioned before, some characters show one personality to certain people and another personality to another group. For example, Aksinya shows one personality to Natalya and the demon and quite a different personality to others. Her voice, however, isn't that much different, it is the words she speaks. On the other hand, in one of my unpublished novels, Dana-ana, Dr. Mariread May Rowley shows a delightful change in personality and voice when she speaks privately about Dana-ana. Mariread is a unique character, but remember, I wrote that those are the best to write about. She isn't a main character in Dana-ana, but she has an important role and a delicious personality--one that changes.
How to project the character's voice is an important tool to a writer. I'll discuss this and the other circumstances for change of voice, tomorrow.
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.