16 March 2012, Development - Using Voice in the First Scene
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/.
Voice is the words and actions of the character that you use to reveal the character in your novel. The voice of the character(s) is a critical piece of creating a character. It is so important, that you must give a voice to every character--this includes the secondary and tertiary characters. My measure is that all characters must have some voice. Voice means that the characters are unique enough that you can determine them through their actions, name, and speech. You might think that a name makes it easy to determine differences. This isn't true at all. A name is simply one handle (a tag) used to identify a character. In perfect character voice, the reader should be able to determine the character simply by their actions and their way of speaking.
Using voice like this is a goal, but almost impossible to achieve. In some scenes, you can do this. In other scenes, it is not possible. What you should strive to do is to make the characters come alive so well, they pop out of the page. In a perfect situation, the reader should be able to determine the character simply by the words and actions of the character. The tags are simply redundant. In reality, the author should use the name tags, actions, and words to differentiate and identify the characters the best they can.
We'll look more at voice in the first scene in the creative process in Aksinya 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/.